Zitulele “KK” Combi is an accomplished, self-made businessman with an unstoppable drive to make a difference in the lives of others and a willingness to share his ideas. He equally has a knack for initiating concepts that make money. It didn’t take long into the interview before he told Black Business Quarterly that, despite his incredible achievements over the years, he would do it all over again.
“In fact, I am already doing it all over again! I’m doing it to use the wisdom I amassed over the years to demonstrate that we have what it takes to create value if we put our minds to it and channel our energy in the right direction. But the details of my new project will emerge in time. What you can note for now is that it will create many small businesses and job opportunities over the next few years,” he said, flashing a naughty smile.
He believes firmly that black economic empowerment (BEE) has fallen short of achieving its desired goals. This failure, he tried to convince Black Business Quarterly, resulted from a combination of wrong application of the tenets of BEE legislation, lack of business skills and a generally poor business culture.
Born in Retreat, Cape Town, his family was forcibly removed during apartheid and relocated to Gugulethu, where he grew up. But Combi, affectionately known as “KK”, has not allowed this to stop him from being who he is: a man passionate about business and the desire to help aspiring black business owners believe in their worth, “for the sake of South Africa”.
“Black businesspeople have to move away from aspiring for shares in businesses started by other people, develop their own ideas and create lasting businesses”, he advised. "They should also stop thinking that value can be bought because that is not true. It is not sufficient to simply be an inactive shareholder in a business. In the long term, not much value can be earned from merely owning shares and leaving it up to others to run the business and continue dominating the skills base necessary for running successful businesses and, eventually, managing a growing national economy”.
The full story appears exclusively in the forthcoming edition of Black Business Quarterly. Don’t miss it!