Kunene's rise from troubled teen to business whizz

Published May 11, 2017


Bheki Kunene grew up a troubled young man but says his life only improved when he stopped harking back to his past failures and started to embrace the future.

Kunene was a guest speaker at Breakfast with the Cape Times, which was hosted at the JL Zwane Centre in Gugulethu yesterday.

Kunene, who is now a successful entrepreneur specialising in digital communications, said as a teenager he had suffered from depression and had survived numerous suicide attempts – brought on by his expulsion from Sea Point High School as a 15-year-old.

“I had a faulty mind,” he said, describing this period of his life.

But through his suicide attempts his grandmother always stood by him and would remind him that if he decided to take his life he needed to fall on his back so that he could look up into the sky and see heaven.

“I had spent almost four years hating myself, trying to kill myself,” said Kunene.

Speaking to an audience of mostly business professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs, Kunene recounted how he turned his life around.

He spoke to a pastor at the JL Zwane Church who handed him a book, but it was not filled with religious texts. Instead, it was motivational.

Kunene said this was the turning point at which he stopped feeling sorry for himself and started to take responsibility for his actions.

Speaking of his digital communications business, MindTrix Media, he said he had been motivated because he found something he loved and he was making money in the process.

“I was bootstrapping. I would get paid, buy equipment and invest in my business,” said Kunene.

He would later win a competition to spend a day with renowned entrepreneur Richard Branson. “I was inspired and started pitching for business,” said Kunene, who until a few years ago still operated from his bedroom in Gugulethu.

Also speaking at the breakfast, Argon Asset Management stakeholder engangement manager Loyiso Kula said her company, which sponsors the breakfasts, was honoured to be associated with the initiative.

“Argon Assett Management is black-owned, under black management, currently managing R32 billion in assets,” said Kula.

Since Argon’s founder Mothobi Seseli spoke at the last Cape Times breakfast, the company had decided to sponsor future breakfasts.

“We are very happy to be associated with the Cape Times brand, and the effort to stage the breakfasts where the people are,” said Kula.

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