First Car Rental Interview Mr Vusi Khanyile, Executive Chairperson and founding CEO of Thebe Investment Corporation (Thebe)

Top Quote With the responsibility of managing a R5,5-billion Assets Under Management company, Mr Vusi Khanyile is a man of many talents. Motivated to help finance community projects in 1992, Khanyile was one of the founding members responsible for starting the Thebe Investment Corporation. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) March 03, 2011 - Today, Thebe's investment activities span various sectors including tourism, mining resources, petrochemicals, telecommunications, healthcare - and include a 15% stake in First Car Rental.

    Get to know the man...

    You are a board member of a number of corporations and are chairperson of the Thebe Investment Corporation, how do you juggle your many responsibilities with your personal life?
    In essence the question is about balancing public responsibilities and personal responsibilities and that is always most difficult to maintain and often one suffers. We can achieve certain public goals at the expense of private goals. I battle to balance the two but am conscious about it. Perhaps my family will say differently. (he laughs) If we are truly realised as individuals we need to be nourished in our personal life to be able to perform in public life.

    What are you reading at the moment?
    The Prophet by Kahill Gibran

    What is your favourite place to go on holiday in South Africa?
    Not one specific place. The places that gives me immense joy is the bush and the mountain. I enjoy hiking in the bush 'making contact with small animals' that you don't see on big game drives. It is a 'different experience.'

    Also the mountains, hiking in the mountains - 'that wilderness experience' which our country has in abundance. I find myself returning to the Drakensberg time and time again, being from the Natal Midlands.

    What is your favourite South African wine?
    I don't drink wine. My drink of choice is water (said with a chuckle)

    Growing up, what did you hope to become?
    A priest, then a teacher and all else is accidental. A similar thread runs through these though, perhaps a need to share knowledge and nurturing. Our approach to business in a sense is nurturing as we take fledgling businesses and nurture them in order to become liberated.

    What language do you think in?
    I think in the language in which I am expressing myself at that moment i.e., Zulu or English. If I am writing in English then I think in English.

    Much of your work centres around empowerment and African solutions, define what an ideal African should be? What values embody the African of today, tomorrow?
    My working definition of an African is one that regards one's self as an African and has an African perspective. One that shares the African dream. One who puts Africa first. It's an attitude of mind, not colour.

    Who inspires you?
    Rather than name a person, I find myself admiring those that show ultimate commitment to a goal bigger than themselves.

    Who would you most like to meet?
    In my dream I would like to enter a room that has Ghandi in conversation with Martin Luther King and Albert Luthuli.

    What is and where is your favourite place to eat?
    I have become very conscious about healthy eating and enjoy restaurants that can prepare vegetables really well. I have had great eating experiences at Fishmonger and Pigalle.

    What advice do you have for South Africans struggling to find a unified path?
    History scarred us and that makes it difficult to stay on a unified path. Once we recognise what it is in our background that makes it difficult for us to communicate and continue on a unified path, we will be able to move forward. When South Africans with different backgrounds meet, we communicate in English. Those that are new to English must communicate in that medium. We need to establish how we can function in a predominantly African culture.

    Who is your favourite actor?
    John Kani

    What music do you enjoy?
    I have wide music interests from classical, soul and coral traditions.

    About Thebe Investment Group

    An African company with a passion for empowerment, the Thebe Investment Corporation was established in 1992 by the Batho Batho Trust, a community-based trust whose first chairman was Nelson Mandela. Thebe Investment Corporation was the pioneer of broad-based black empowerment (BBBE) in South Africa and over the years has become one of South Africa's most successful investment management companies.

    The Thebe Tourism Group is a 100%-owned subsidiary of Thebe Investment Corporation. Formed in 2001, the group is the oldest black-empowered South African tourism group and has a significant portfolio in tourism and related industries, offering innovative, integrated market-driven products.

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