Tech & Innovation April 28, 2022 at 11:12 am

How this South African man went from prison to crypto millionaire

Abu Mubarik April 28, 2022 at 11:12 am

April 28, 2022 at 11:12 am | Tech & Innovation

Photo credit: The Guardian

Xolane Ndhlovu is a South African tech entrepreneur and investor. He founded DafriGroup PLC, a public company involved in industries including, technology, finance, hospitality, blockchain, real estate, media and aviation. It has subsidiaries in South Africa, Nigeria, Botswana, Comoros Island, England and Wales.

Before becoming an investor, Ndhlovu, born to a Nigerian father and a South African mother in Burgersfort, a town in South Africa, was a music DJ known as Master Ziggy. However, he found himself in conflict with the law and was convicted of a gang-related shooting. Going to prison would have unexpected benefits.

In prison, he came in contact with the autobiography of Richard Branson and how the British mogul established a business empire. According to him, he was motivated by Branson’s “Losing My Virginity” to not only change his ways but to also become a business magnate.

“When I was younger, I became inspired to go into business after reading Richard Branson’s book, “Losing My Virginity.” It’s the story of how Branson went from zero business knowledge to becoming one of the most successful businessmen of our time,” the 36-year-old said in this interview.

He made prudent use of his savings by investing in cryptocurrency platform Binance (BNB) and other tech companies. In no time, he made his first one million dollars while in prison and went on to launch an entrepreneurship center for fellow inmates aimed at equipping ex-offenders with entrepreneurship skills needed to do away from a life of crime and become good citizens. He also built a corporate organization, UMEH Group and later, DafriGroup PLC.

“My first break came few years ago when I founded UMEH, which invest in small tech startup companies with the potential to grow. I made my first million dollars that way. And that’s exactly what we’re doing with DafriGroup. 

“DafriGroup is an investment company that prides itself on investing in the future. We look for unique investment opportunities that has the ability to move Africa’s economy forward,” he said.

What’s more, Ndhlovu, in 2021, launched his digital-only bank, DafriBank LTD and this helped him enter his country’s billionaires club.

Ndhlovu has an estimated crypto wealth of $300 million (R6 billion), according to the 2021 Top 50 Crypto Rich list.

Asked what DafriBank has to offer Africans, he noted that DafriBank will remove the entry barriers to financing and offer a wide range of banking services from deposits to transfers to financial planning.

“The future of our world is digital. I don’t think anyone would deny that. And that means that the future of banking will soon become digital-only. DafriBank is creating a modern payment network that will aggregate the best ideas, innovations, and technologies developed in recent years. The DafriBank ecosystem will allow safe, fast, and low-cost transactions, using a global currency,” he said.

Ndhlovu holds a diploma in media management, Bachelor’s degree of Commerce Economics from Korea Advance Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and Masters of Business Administration (MBA), Georgia Institute of Technology, according to Business Day.

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