You are currently viewing Vusi Thembekwayo: Seizing his power 

Vusi Thembekwayo: Seizing his power 

Be inspired and uplifted by the man who puts his money where his mouth is!   

Global speaker, entrepreneur, author, coach and mentor, Vusi Thembekwayo is a force to be reckoned with. The 38-year-old has built a reputation for being a business maverick and a catalyst for change.   

You may recognise him as one of the ‘dragons’ from South Africa’s Dragons’ Den reality-TV show (2014), in which would-be entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to potential investors.  

Young, wealthy and wise  

His journey to success started in the early 2000s, when he ran SA’s only black-owned forensic marketing agency (an agency which specialises in brand and new product development).   

Since then, his business smarts, humour, charisma and style have won the hearts of audiences across the globe. Today, he is one of the go-to guys for corporate executives and entrepreneurs around the world – and among the Top 10 most followed Africans on LinkedIn. He inspires individuals, teams, leaders and organisations, seeking to positively disrupt the way they work, think and create value. 

He’s the business  

Thembekwayo is not all talk and no action; his wisdom has been earned. By the time he was 25 years old, he was running a R400-million division of a multinational company, and went on to become one of the youngest directors of a JSE-listed company in SA. 

Moreover, he is the founder and CEO of his own business, MyGrowthFund Venture Partners, which is focused on driving financial inclusion, as well as access to healthcare and education through the use of technology. He has stated that he plans to incubate and launch some 300 black-owned businesses by 2030.   

He also owns private equity fi rm VUKA Capital, is chairman of Africa Growth Partners (which is focused on infrastructure projects), a partner in Watermark Afrika Capital (aimed at finding opportunities for UAE-based clients to invest in sub-Saharan Africa) and offers his private, exclusive mentoring services under Club 100.  

That’s not all – he’s a board member of three companies involved in the tech and start-up space. And then there’s also his Ideas That Matter podcast. 

Words of wisdom  

In his popular motivational talks he touches on topics such as the power of resilience, self-discipline and managing life’s most precious resource: time. One of his mantras is: “You have the time, you just don’t know how to prioritise.” He told Forbes Africa that he “will do for talking what Muhammad Ali did for boxing” – he, too, wants to be ‘the greatest’. In a single year, he delivered 214 presentations in 21 countries.  

One of his most famous and popular talks – and an international hit – is ‘Black Sheep’, which he delivered at the Top 40 CEOs in Southern Africa event. He has also addressed the Australian House of Parliament and spoken in the British House of Commons. Other popular and influential talks include ‘The Future of Finance’ and ‘Leading at the Edge of Chaos’.  

Sound advice  

Over the years, Thembekwayo has appeared on different media platforms, including SABC, etv and CNBC Africa, and on a number of podcasts, sharing his expert opinions on various topics.  

In a 2023 interview with Gareth Cliff on Cliff Central radio, he shared his motivation for the thought-provoking and honest delivery of his talks. “We live in an era where the truth is unpopular. I would far rather be hated for who I am than to be loved for who I’m pretending to be.” 

Touching on the state of the local and global economy, he is unusually positive, saying: “There is nothing new in economic theory in 2023. Somewhere before, someone in the world has been where we are, and they’ve figured out the solution.”  

He says entrepreneurship is “starting something that other people don’t see and getting them to see it, believe in it, buy into it and help you build it”. In a video on his YouTube channel, Vusi touched on how letting go can be an important entrepreneurial trait, especially when a business is not doing well.  

“Get out of the driver’s chair. You’re not fi t enough for the next lap… Get somebody else to run the business for you. It’s hard, but in the long run it is the best decision you can ever make.” 

The disruptor  

Thembekwayo is regarded as one of the most disruptive forces in venture capital today. As such, he is in demand as a catalyst for business change. Through his consulting work, he elevates the thinking of blue-chip companies around the world.  

If his track record is anything to go by, this dynamo still has plenty of innovative ideas, much-needed change and solutions to share with individuals, organisations and the world at large. 



DOB: 21 March 1985

Hometown: Benoni, South Africa

Books: Vusi: Business & Life Lessons from a Black Dragon (2018) and The Magna Carta of Exponentiality (2017) 


Follow him 

Facebook: Vusi Thembekwayo
X: @Vusi Thembekwayo
Instagram: @vusithembekwayo


Words by: Nomvelo Masango