BACKSTORY: Fundi Sithebe
We question Fundi Sithebe, CEO at 4Racing
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Nothing beats human connection, so networking is very important and counts for the greater part of clinching the deal.
What was your first job?
Business analyst for Deloitte Consulting.
How much was your first pay cheque, and how did you spend it?
My first pay cheque was R7,500. I recall being overexcited and spending it all on anything and everything.
What is the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?
I wish someone had told me to invest, invest, invest. I also wish someone had told me to invest in horse racing then.
What is the hardest life lesson you’ve learnt?
You do not have to have immediate gain or go into debt to have a particular lifestyle. You do not need to live your life based on someone else’s standards.
If you could fix only one thing in SA, what would it be?
I would fix the culture of mediocrity and complacency. We’ve reached a stage in the country where we accept what we are given. Similarly, in many instances we are satisfied with doing the bare minimum. It’s important that we all strive for the highest of standards, no matter how small the task at hand.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I qualified as a private pilot many years ago. I juggled my lessons with my job at Deloitte and managed to obtain my licence at the age of 24.
If you were President Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do, tomorrow?
If I were the president of SA, I would focus more on the advancement of black professionals. We are economically significant but ideologically marginalised.
What’s the worst investment mistake you’ve made?
I trusted a person who presented what seemed like a lucrative investment in an energy-related project. I "invested" money in it without doing the due diligence. Needless to say, the deal did not come through.
What’s the best investment you’ve ever made, and how much of it was due to luck?
Two properties I fully own, as well as co-ownership in a group of properties. I’ve also recently started to buy shares through EasyEquities. My most recent, exciting investment is having fractional ownership in three horses. It also allows me to play a little when I go to the races. The best way for a novice like myself to enjoy the journey of ownership is through partnerships. I’ve partnered with some of the best trainers in SA: Mike de Kock and Sean Tarry.
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