Rags-to-riches story of Xolane Ndhlovu, South Africa’s new black billionaire
After his rapid rise to prominence over three years which climaxed in the launch of DafriBank LTD, a digital-only bank, no one is surprised to see the name of Xolane Ndhlovu on the list of Black billionaires of South Africa.
The DafriBank chairman was listed 40th with $300 million on the November 2021 Top 50 Crypto Rich list.
The 36-year-old R6 billion-rich entrepreneur, born in Burgersfort, Riba Cross in the valley of Mpumalanga-Limpopo, grew up a poor boy and had his fair share of the vicissitudes of life, including working as a dishwasher and DJ and serving a jail term for gang violence.
However, Xolane Ndhlovu’s rise, though spectacular, was not an overnight success.
Instead, his journey to becoming a billionaire started after he read Sir Richard Branson’s biography while in prison. His subsequent decision to invest in cryptocurrency earned him millions of dollars from his holdings in Binance (BNB).
To break the yoke of poverty, Xolane Ndhlovu pursued self-redemption on two fronts: education and business. Putting his past behind him, he studied to earn himself a diploma in Media Management, a bachelor’s degree in Economics, and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
On the business front, his aggressive entrepreneurial drive led to his founding of the UMEH Group, which, in few years, diversified into media, hospitality and real estate, among other interests. After merging UMEH Group with DafriGroup PLC, a public company with over 16 subsidiaries, Xolane Ndhlovu upped the ante with the rapid expansion of the conglomerate into four African countries and the UK.
He sustained the momentum in 2021 with his most ambitious project, namely the launch of DafriBank LTD, a digital-only bank that epitomises his vision of a digital economy.
DafriBank LTD, which pulled off the rare feat of the market capitalisation of $80 million, became a bank of choice for digital entrepreneurs because of its wide-ranging banking services covering the personal, corporate, lending, small and medium enterprises market segments.
By and large, Xolane Ndhlovu, the new black billionaire of South Africa, is a living testimony that hard work, financial foresight and prudent investments are a recipe for overcoming poverty.