South Africa Has A New Black Billionaire: Who Is Xolane Ndhlovu?

South Africa Has A New Black Billionaire: Who Is Xolane Ndhlovu?

JOHANNESBURG - Over the last 10 years, colossal tech-focused companies have dominated the fortune 500 and produced the type of individual nett worth never recorded in the history of mankind.

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As the tech market grows, so does the industry’s three comma club. In 2021, despite a record-high R42.9 billion ($2.9 billion) barrier for entry onto the list, 11 tech billionaires made The Forbes 400 for the first time.

Xolane Ndhlovu, DafriBank, billionaire, philanthropist, entrepreneur, profile
Xolane Ndhlovu is the founder of DafriGroup, including Dafribank. Picture Credit: Instagram
Source: UGC

The group’s composition—investors, builders, and founders of fintech and blockchain-crypto related firms reflecting on how the fintech and blockchain ecosystem are evolving, and who’s getting rewarded.

Who is Xolane Ndhlovu?

Xolane Ndhlovu is a 36-year-old South African billionaire entrepreneur and the founder of DafriGroup PLC, a public company with a portfolio of interest across 16+ subsidiaries ranging from technology, banking, hospitality, real estate and blockchain among others. The Limpopo born entrepreneur is an epitome of black excellence with a life story that could make a Hollywood blockbuster.

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Ndhlovu's foray into tech has propelled his personal fortune to R6 billion as of 2021 stemming from his holdings in Binance (BNB) and bets in tech focused startups which include DafriBank, Bolt and Polkadot. The newly minted billionaire was the only African in the list of The 50 Richest People in Crypto 2021. His newest bet, DafriBank, is a financial technology company founded on the notion that a bank should be less-authoritarian and more socialising.

Xolane Ndhlovu, DafriBank, founder, DafriGroup
DafriBank Digital LTD employees at HQ. Image: Instagram
Source: UGC

DafriBank offers a wide range of banking services covering the personal, corporate, lending, small and medium enterprises market segments. Its wide spectrum of financial solutions for business clients includes structured finance, merchant API, working capital finance as well as tailor-made term financing options. The bank is Authorised and licensed by the Comoros International Banking Authority (CIBA) the Banking Supervising body of the Central Bank of Comoros and is on the move to raise $80 million (R1.3 billion) at a valuation of $1 billion (R16.4 billion)

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Xolane Ndhlovu began his career as a music DJ known as Master Ziggy and later found himself on the wrong side of the law and got imprisoned for gang-related shooting. Although he claimed to have shot the victim (a rival gang) in self-defence. Nevertheless, going to prison never deterred his entrepreneurial spirit as he went on to legally make his first million dollars in prison and launched an entrepreneurship centre for fellow inmates aimed at capacitating ex-offenders with entrepreneurship skills needed to do away from a life of crime and become good citizens. "Going to prison was a blessing in disguise," he told Business Day in 2019.

The businessman, founded UMEH Group a household brand in the media and hotel sectors, played a crucial role in the merging of UMEH with DafriGroup PLC in 2020, in a transaction worth more than R1 billion ($66.54 million), according to sources close to the deal. The firm invested in media and tech startups and had ($33.35 million) R500 million under management before the merger.

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Xolane Ndhlovu, DafriBank, DafriGroup, mother's house, mansion, entrepreneur
Xolane Ndhlovu mother's house. Image: Facebook
Source: UGC

Xolane Ndhlovu, billionaire, philanthropist, entrepreneur, mother's house, humble beginnings
Xolane Ndhlovu's mother's mansion. Image: Facebook
Source: UGC

Ndhlovu was born in Burgersfort, Riba Cross in the valley of Mpumalanga / Limpopo. He grew up in a shack which he has now transformed into a mega-mansion for his mother in a dusty street that is yet to receive a municipal water pipe which prompted the development of a borehole for his community.

The billionaire's philanthropic deeds are well documented around Africa with previously UMEH Grant now DafriGroup Grant running in its 8th year of making a difference in the lives of thousands of underprivileged around Africa. In 2020, DafriBank Nigeria launched a N100 million (R6.6 million) bursary for underprivileged and out of school children in the poorest part of West Africa.

In 2018, Ndhlovu donated $20 000 to the Children's Center in Namibia. He is listed on the donors list for President Cyril Ramaphosa's Solidarity Fund as Briefly News previously reported about an Mzansi prisoner who donated R500 000 to the Solidarity Fund. His recent act of philanthropic gesture came out to play recently when he donated $1 million (R16.4 million) to Africans in Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

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In 2021, MG Mpho Moteka couldn’t have imagined what good fortune awaited him when he lamented his ill-luck on popular social media platform Twitter, having lost a boilers’ production worth 50 thousand Rands to a rainstorm. With no hope in sight, Mpho had thrown in the proverbial towel and quit his dream. Seeing the photographic evidence he posted, showing dead birds littering the floor of their shed, along with the words ‘I quit’ was gut-wrenching beyond words. For Mpho, this was the final stroke.

But in a sudden and fortuitous twist of fate, Xolane caught wind of the hashtag #SaveMphosBusiness started by a South African Twitter influencer @SciTheComedist as a clarion call to good samaritans to ‘chip in what they can’ to save Moteka’s business. Without any hesitation, he stepped in to save the day by volunteering to rescue Mpho’s business with the sum of R50 000, a remarkable display of empathy and altruism.

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Xolane Ndhlovu, billionaire, SAECEO, launch, philanthropist, September 2020
The launch of SAECEO at Redcap Lodge ,Carltonville, 19 September, 2020: Image: SAECEO
Source: UGC

Xolane Ndhlovu founded the first private entrepreneurial rehabilitation centre for former prisoners in South Africa. The South African Entrepreneurship Centre For Ex-Offenders, SAECEO, a first of its kind in the country, provides customised entrepreneurship, technology, and business training to former inmates. The centre focuses particularly on technology-related ventures, targeting fulfilling new markets that continue to arise online. The centre also provides courses in coding and programming.

Although the humble businessman is not the type that likes fronting their material possession. However, he occasionally gives out cash to his followers on his verified social media pages. With Nigeria superstar Davido whom he gifted R140 000 in 2021 among people who has benefited from businessman's benevolence. A source close to the entrepreneur says that he owns approximately 11 properties including an apartment in Dubai and a penthouse in Cape Town.

Source: Briefly News

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