One of SA’s youngest millionaires pursues PhD, intends to groom African youth to also make money
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Johannesburg - One South Africa’s youngest millionaires, Vivian Mokome, has shown that breaking out of one’s comfort zone can be rewarding to one’s pocket.
Mokome left the corporate executive sector and took the gamble of starting her own business empire.
By the age of 35, she had made her first million.
Then the focus became moving into the billions and grooming other African youngsters to make money too.
She has degrees in information systems and is now working on her PhD.
While network entrepreneurship launched her business success, the 38-year-old has managed to broaden her business empire to include real estate and farming among her range of business ventures.
She employs a number of permanent staff, who in turn have grown from being around her.
Being the daughter of a military veteran, General Steyn Nyalungu, Mokome says excellence was always commanded of her life and failure was never an option.
Mokome grew up in Pretoria and had the privilege of going to white-dominated schools when it was not fashionable to do so.
Her dad has been a compass for her great success and mature character.
“I had the opportunity of going to the best schools and that was the language that he would preach at home – that I can’t give you your fancy stuff but all I can give you is the best education because that is what you need as a black girl,” said Mokome.
General Nyalungu determined his daughter’s success, having been the one that selected the degree Mokome did at university.
This choice would later seem Mokome sitting in the big boardrooms of South Africa’s banking sector.
“When I look back, I can see that my dad wanted what was best and he chose information systems for me,” said Mokome.
Mokome is a perfectionist and believes in the advancement of the struggle of black people.
She believes that wealth should be shared and that each family should at least produce one entrepreneur.
She says she enjoys friendships with other entrepreneurs, such as DJ Sbu.
“I have sold even the smallest of stuff like toothpaste, and now I can make a million in a week. I’m never afraid of a challenge.”
Mokome says even at university she was able to achieve the best, coming out top of the class in most courses she was part of.
“I was an over-achiever and could never settle for less,” said Mokome.
Following a decade of hard work and experience in the banking sector, Mokome left First Rand to push her business ventures and following a rough ride in making her business connections, she now enjoys business partnerships across Africa, being stable enough to groom other young people to make their money.
Mokome has 14 properties in her name and several farms that are being managed by her husband, who is also her business partner.
“Some of my employees have been with me for four years and I was telling the lady that does my make-up that she has been making me look pretty for the last four years,” said Mokome.
Ausi V, as some call her, says she never imagined that she could live the life that she is today living, with nine luxurious cars, including a Porsche and a MercedesBenz G-Class.
Some of her cars have had to be parked at her parents’ house on the West Rand.
Her Featherbrook house has five bedrooms and she has an interior designer come in every three months to ensure it looks great.
Besides a playroom, the house has a make-up room and a production room.
“I never thought I could live in this house. It is comfortable and has everything I want. Someone said my house looks like the Mall of Africa.”
She said she bought the different cars to make a statement – to show women that you can make it without a man.
Food is not a big deal for Mokome because she still enjoys her traditional home-cooked food and the fast food she grew up with.
Mokome says she loves her country and following numerous business travels all over Africa, she has come to realise that there is no place like home.
She believes in helping the community and empowering young people, her foundation, Mokome Foundation has helped several young people get through school, including the son of a prominent South African artist.
Mokome believes all she has is by the grace of God never forgets to tithe.