4 reasons billionaire SpaceX founder Elon Musk left South Africa

4 reasons billionaire SpaceX founder Elon Musk left South Africa

The founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk, was born in Pretoria, South Africa, but left the country at the young age of 17 to start life abroad.

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His decision to leave paid off handsomely. He went on to become a leading entrepreneur with a net worth of over $20billion (R297b), according to Forbes magazine.

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Elon has also become a US citizen. Briefly.co.za looks at four reasons he left South Africa — and why he might not be so keen to return.

1. He was bullied severely in high school.

Elon was a student at Bryanston High School in the 1980s. According to thesouthafrican.com, he suffered assault at the hands of bullies.

He had to be admitted to hospital for two weeks. His dad, Errol Musk, told News24 in a 2015 that Elon was so badly injured that he didn't recognise him when he saw him in hospital.

In the 1980s, bullying was passed off as "normal." The incident therefore paid a huge role in Elon's decision to leave the country.

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2. His mom is Canadian-South African.

The fact that Elon's mom, Maye Musk, lived in Canada made it easy for Elon to leave South Africa. He attended Queen's University in Canada before eventually moving to the US.

3. The attractiveness of Silicone Valley.

Elon taught himself computer programming when he was just 10 years old. Silicone Valley in California, US, had already established itself as a focal point for many tech entrepreneurs.

It's easy to see why he enrolled at the nearby Stanford University for a PhD in applied physics in 1995. However, he dropped out two years later to start his successful entrepreneurial journey.

4. Family issues.

Some might hope that after attaining so much success, Elon would consider returning to South Africa. However, this prospect remains dim because of family issues.

According to thesouthafrican.com, Elon's dad, 72-year-old Errol, recently admitted that he has had a relationship with his own stepdaughter.

He also reportedly fathered a child with a woman 42 years younger than him. In addition, he and Elon's mom Maye divorced. This has apparently divided the family.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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