POLOKWANE – After stealing the limelight as week ago at the Vodacom Durban July where he had his cars displayed during the annual horseracing event, businessman Sam Mshengu reveals how he made his money.
Born in Limpopo, the businessman stated that he doesn’t even have a Grade 12 certificate but he took his chances from an early age to be where he is.
Mshengu was speaking to PowerFM, explaining how he made it into the world of business, also setting the record straight that the 72 cars spotted at the horseracing event were not his, but he had 10 as part of the convoy.
“I started working with trucks and I can say that’s when I started loving them. He [employer] also gave me an opportunity to be a truck driver. I was then promoted and I went from being a truck driver to working in an office – I was working in a control room,” Mshengu told PowerFM.
“I was raised by a single mother. My dad passed away when I was two days old and he was a soldier. He was shot dead in the DRC. It was quite a very difficult one childhood. It was very difficult because my mother was not educated. My life was quite bad. For instance, I don’t even have matric. I only did my primary [school] then I left it to work for a white man,” he revealed.
“I don’t even have a matric certificate. In fact, I don’t know what matric looks like. The situation was very tough and there were times where we didn’t even have food. I am not talking about clothes, we didn’t know what to eat and that’s when I decided to look for work at the age of 11.
“I decided that I must leave school and start working, I worked in an orange farm in Limpopo, and I had no time to go back to school to further my studies,” stated the businessman.
On the convoy of 72 cars that included a Mercedes Benz G wagon, an A-class AMG, a Vito bus, and a Porsche, amongst others, Mshengu said the cars don’t belong to him.
“Let me just correct that the 72 cars are not all mine. I only had10 cars in that convoy and some of the cars belong to my friends, but some of them belong to the group, Sam’s Convoy,” he explained.
With many believing that the director of Sam Holdings got involved in illegal ways, he narrated his story, clearly stating that his road to wealth was never based on illegal dealings but through hard work and the mercy of God.
“I worked with this guy, a white farmer and I worked with him for a long time. Because I was a good worker, he trusted me and promoted me from being a general worker, I ended up working in a workshop with tucks,” he continued.
“I learned things like mechanic and changing tyres. I can say that’s when I started having this love for trucks. I know a truck from a young age and he gave me an opportunity to become a truck driver.
“I delivered farming products in Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique offloading stuff in those countries. I was also given another promotion to becoming an office worker as a controller. I had to instruct the drivers what to do and so on,” revealed the businessman.
Because he had this instinct and drive to start his own company, Mshengu revealed that he had to try other means to get out of the farming industry to become his own boss.
“I said with the knowledge I have thought I can start my own company. I didn’t have the capital to buy a truck but I got knowledge though and I started to register my company (Sam Holdings Trading) in 2014,” continued Mshengu.
“I started doing brokerage and I know everybody wants to know how I make my money. You know my story is very nice and simple. I registered my company and because I was connected to the guys who had trucks.
“They managed to get me a contract and I had to take my bosses trucks to run the race and the money or income was based on a per ton. I would tell my boss that the money is R120 Rand per ton, but it was R130 and I would save the 10 percent commission of 10 Rand.
“This continued for a long time and I managed to raise money to buy my own trucks based on the 10 Rand or commission I got – it was a big company. I was R300 000 a month out of no expenses, remember I was still earning my salary from my boss, it was big money. What helped me and I can advise others that everyone in life God will give you a chance to make money, but it’s how you use it.
“I didn’t do anything funny, I still remember that one day I was so shocked to see my bank account. I had R3 million and it was hocking, I managed to buy three new trucks and trailers in cash and right now I have 52 trucks and plant hire,.
“That’s how I made my money and there was nothing illegal, I run a legal business. I have Eskom as one of my biggest clients. I can tell you there is no illegal dealing and I am venturing into mining mostly exporting coal to India. My involvement in business is purely because of sweat, planning and through the mercy of God – no illegal involvement at all,” he concluded.