From the rural Nkuzana village to being a 63% strategic partner of NEDBANK, he has recently been conferred with honorary doctorate degree for his huge contribution towards rural and township economy by Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Management Sciences and Organizational Leadership for being a pioneer in retail development.
His recognition by the university, comes when he continues to develop numerous shopping centers and malls in areas that are regarded as rural and lacks vibrant economy.
Growing up herding his father’s cattle in the rural small village of Xitlhelani in Limpopo, Dr Mike Nkuna became one of the most successful business man. He is the founder of the Masingita Group of Companies which was formed in the late 1970s.
Establishing his first filling station in Johannesburg after he was granted R1 Million under different circumstances where a black person was not allowed to own land and have access to financial institutions.
“After being granted a loan, it was said that a black man has broken the bank because it was very rare for us to be considered financial smart, I had initially applied to shell for funding, they gave me an offer and I approached another company which I played the game very smart to succeed.”
He then decided to venture into property development after realizing that the townships and rural areas were neglected and later advanced to urban areas with retail developments.
His developments includes Nkuna Kraal in Nkuzana, Mangalani Convenient Centre in Malamulele, Zebediela Plaza in Moletlane, Masingita Plaza in Giyani, Makhado Crossing in Makhado, few car dealerships and filling stations around Limpopo province are amongst his developments across the country.
With the evolution of technology and climate change, Dr Nkuna has contemplated with developing a smart city with the smart town of Nkuna City being conceptualized with the first phase being operational .
The second phase will include higher learning satellites facilities, hotel, hospital, sports facilities and residential areas.
As part of socio economic impact, Nkuna has built several decent houses for the poor, awarding bursaries to top peformace in mathematics and science from poor families to advance their qualification at various universities as well as a clinic at his home village in Xitlhelani.
“One of the things close to my heart is restoring dignity to the most vulnerable communities, building a clinic in my home village was my highest priority, primary health care is a basic need, nothing cuts deep than seeing people travelling long distance to seek medical attention at already burdened facilities when I have the means to intervene.”
Being as busy as he is, Dr Nkuna still takes part in tribal meetings at his village where he contributes to governance issues related to tribal council, he is also an active member of the Limpopo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, South African Property Owners Association and South African Council for Shopping Centers.
By: Emmaculate Cindi