BACKSTORY: Khangi Khoza
We question Khangi Khoza, CEO of Swissport SA
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Likability. There must be a mutual respect for the other. It’s not always about money.
What was your first job?
Working in my mother’s catering business and doing admin work in my father’s law practice during school holidays.
How much was your first pay cheque?
With my parents the work was unpaid for some reason … But my first real job paid R150 per day as a sales consultant in a jewellery store when I was at university.
What is the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?
Don’t waste your time worrying about the future. Whatever you’re doing now, do that well and the next task will become obvious.
If you could fix only one thing in SA, what would it be?
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I want to teach maths at school one day. For the moment I teach any child who cares to listen how to study.
What’s the worst investment mistake you’ve made?
I am quite disciplined when it comes to investing but I have come to learn that people are often my money triggers — I tend to invest in people who don’t invest in themselves. There was also that weird interest in cryptocurrency, which has since left my brain. As an economist I understand that fiat money will be with us for a while.
What is the hardest life lesson you’ve learnt?
All the unlearning I have had to do, and the fact that life is urgent.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Forgiveness. The most underrated is discipline.
What is something you would go back and tell your younger self that would impress them?
It only gets better. Trickier, but better.
Was there ever a point at which you wanted to trade it all in for a different career? And if so, what would that career be?
Yes, many times. But you have to do things for the right reasons as well, and sometimes that means staying where you are. I’ve enjoyed the twists and turns in my career thus far.
If you were President Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do, tomorrow?
Watch House of Cards and take a leaf out of Frank Underwood’s book.
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