Sam Mshengu of Sam Holdings has finally responded to questions, speculations, and criticisms he received on social media following his 72-car Durban July convoy at the weekend. The Mpumalanga-based businessman set tongues wagging after having presumably the longest convoy at the event boasting top of the range cars, with most asking how he made his money. Of the 72 cars, 10 were his.
Born in Makwarela, Venda, Mshengu opened up about his difficult upbringing, mostly due to the passing of his soldier father, who was shot dead in DRC Congo when he was only two days old. Mshengu’s family struggled to a point of lacking food, which resulted in him dropping out of school at the age of 11, he told Aldrin Sampear on Power FM on Friday.
Mshengu started working at an orange farm in Limpopo at the age of 11 as a general worker whose responsibility was to pick oranges. He worked hard and earned his boss’ trust and was then moved to the trucking division of the company. There he learnt everything there was to know about trucks and the logistics business.
“I learnt everything about trucks and I loved it. I can tell you everything about a truck. He [my boss] gave me an opportunity to be a truck driver and I started delivering maize and other products for him to Zambia and other neighbouring countries. He then promoted me and I started working as a controller who was in charge of truck drivers,” he said.
The knowledge he acquired from working for his boss encouraged him to start his own trucking business. He registered his company, Sam Holdings Trading, in 2014 and used his boss’ trucks to start his business.
“I got a contract even when I didn’t have a truck at the time. I took my boss’ trucks and registered them. I was getting a commission of R10 at the time. I worked for a long time and raised money to buy my own truck. I could make R300,000 a month with commission and salary at the time.”
He kept working and saving money until it got to R3 million. He used the money to buy three trucks and trailers cash.
“Now I have 52 trucks running on the road with machines and plant hire. That’s how I made my money. I’ve never been involved in anything illegal. I do transport with Eskom, but I’m also venturing into mining now with my own mine. It’s all my mind and planning and the mercy of God,” he said.
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Mshengu said it was discipline and planning that helped him grab opportunities presented to him and use them to his advantage.
“Once you get an opportunity, God has made sure to give everyone an opportunity to make money but it’s up to you decide how you use the money. Leave the champagnes and girls, they won’t help you,” he said.
Though Mshengu was criticised on social media for his display of wealth, he said he was marketing his business and wanted people to know about it through him.
“I’m only doing this for the sake of my business. I have a Chesa Nyama and I wanted you guys to know about it through me.”
Mshengu further advised those whose businesses were still in their early stages to make peace with not sleeping if they wanted to be successful.
“I start working at 3am and stop around 11pm. My business is a nightmare,” he said.
The businessman is not done yet. He said he was working hard to get his dream car – a Rolls-Royce – which he’s hoping to get in October.
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(Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde)