Brian Sokutu
Senior Print Journalist
3 minute read
18 Dec 2021
6:43 pm

How Zareef Minty is inspiring the youth to start their own empires

Brian Sokutu

From selling t-shirts in high school to sitting on the Afribiz board, Zareef Minty is a force to be reckoned with.

Young business leader Zareef Minty. Picture: Supplied

They say dynamite come in small packages.

That old adage befits Zareef Minty – one of South Africa’s youngest entrepreneurs.

Modesty, eagerness to learn from others and being over-zealous in achieving his objectives are among key attributes that have driven and propelled Minty to greater heights in life and in business.

What is the next big thing for the man who has been in business since the age of 16?

Humble beginnings

For Minty, it all began when he started his first business – selling personalised T-shirts to the public while still at high school – in the North West town of Klerksdorp.

This was before moving to Johannesburg to pursue a law degree at Wits University.

Little did everyone know that years later, the mover and shaker would be listed on the prestigious Forbes Africa 30 under 30 list, make the Mail & Guardian Top 200 list, and win the title of One Day Leader Season 4, watched by millions.

He is also the youngest person to become a national youth president of a political party that ran in a national election at just nineteen.

How Zareef Minty is inspiring the youth to start their own empires
Zareef Minty. Photo: Supplied

Zareef has over 22,000 followers on Instagram (@iamzareefminty), where he shares daily motivational content and entrepreneurship tips to help the youth.

He is also a very fashionable young man, who has made the GQ Best Dressed list twice.

Minty, who became an LLB graduate at 25, has had many achievements, which have included:

  • Writing thought leader related articles to online newspaper agencies and for the Teen Zone, a major teenage-focussed magazine in South Africa.
  • Being treasurer of the Law Students Council at Wits University, chair of the Black Lawyers Association and the chair of the Student Discipline Committee.
  • Winning the prestigious title of SABC 1’s One Day Leader – with an audience of over five million people watching the show weekly. 

There is no doubt the youth see Minty as an inspiration: best-selling author, motivational speaker, business strategist and board member of leading companies.

Books to change lives

His first book is called Empire, and is a self-help motivational book.

“Empire changed the lives of so many people, with the lessons in the book being phenomenal.

“The best chapter has to be the 16-week challenge, where I teach people how to level up every 16 weeks,” says Minty.

His second book is set to be sold in book stores on Valentine’s Day.

The youngest member to sit on the multibillion-rand Afribiz board, Minty has found motivational speaking something he is very passionate about.

He will soon be speaking to thousands of students in 2022 for the Generational Wealth Education Tour.

The tour will include all nine provinces and the speakers’ list include Prince “Supermash” Mashawana, Mel Viljoen, Aseema Kazi and other luminaries to joint in Minty’s tenth month educational tour.

We expect to see a lot from this rising star.

Some of his plans for the future is to run for mayor in his municipality, as well as feed hundreds of thousands of young people through his bread drive.