At the age of 23, Sandile Shezi’s rise as a South African foreign currency investor and the country’s newest and youngest multimillionaire was not instantaneous. He started humbly in his hometown of Durban, selling muffins at his high school, but he always had big business dreams in the back of mind.
Shezi’s knack for seeing good ideas in unexpected places led him to selling clothes door-to-door, where he learned the ins and outs of business savvy and how to use rejection as extra motivation. Shezi had to drop out of university to keep his business going – which despite his success he still regrets, especially disappointing his parents who, as teachers, taught him the importance of a full education.
Soon, after reading about forex trading, Shezi took a chance, investing the remainder of his university tuition money into the heady, competitive world of online investing. With a natural inclination towards numbers and their patterns, and more than little common sense, Shezi soon saw success in the stock market game.
Global forex is the largest financial market in the world, trading non-stop from Beijing to London and New York around the clock, with over US$4-trillion changing hands every day on volatile and risky currency markets. With most trading done by banks and big corporations, it takes guts, skill and a bit of luck to tackle the market as an single investor.
Shezi admits that investment is risky, but with the right mindset and a little training in what to look for in the markets, anyone can do it. He calls South African mining and media magnate Sandile Zungu his business hero, who similarly began his career as a young risk-taker. “If he could do it, why can’t I?” Shezi says.
After conquering the investment world, Shezi decided to use his good fortune to give back to the community, particularly young South Africans with big dreams but no access to resources.
He founded the Global Forex Institute with the aim of recognising and mentoring notable young talent for the world of business, as well as teaching the skills needed to tackle the international stock market. “It’s about …making them understand when is the right time to buy, when is the right time to sell and how do you go about avoiding losing your capital,” Shezi told CCTV. “I want to make sure the masses know about trading.”
The Global Forex Institute is the only company in South Africa that provides foreign exchange training for free as a way to create employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for young people.
Shezi says in a country like South Africa, with high unemployment but a strong sense of entrepreneurship and natural business wisdom, people should be encouraged to follow their gut feelings and take risks when they have the right knowledge and ability.
Trading may not be the easiest or safest way to make a living, but investment skills and the ability to see the big picture can help in any business, large or small. His company offers free classes for prospective businesspeople and beginners looking to try their luck at investing.
So what’s next for this South African success story? In addition to his company and business education interests, Shezi wants to teach all South Africans about good money management and invest in the country’s unique businesses.
Humble in his success, Shezi says he is just a person who saw an opportunity and took a chance. Anyone, he says, can do it.