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Sunday, June 19, 2011

How Kenny Kunene "Mr Sushi" Got Rich

November 15, 2010 by Brown Shuga   

Kenny Kunene’s letter to Zwelinzima was cute and funny. The way he flaunts his riches around is not and he can write me a letter for saying this, it’s okay. He did an interesting interview with Sunday Times talking about how he’s buying a Lamborghini, worth way over a million etc etc etc, I just see a Mandla Mthembu minus a Mbau… but I think he’s wiser… all those years in jail hopefully taught him something.
He was very pleasant enough to share with us just how he made his millions and I thought it would be cool to share so we could learn a thing or two from him. If that’s possible.
Kenny and Khanyi
So, here is how Kenny became the stinking rich man he is:
  1. In jail, Kenny Kunene says, he earned R22 a month making tea for the warders at Grootvlei Prison, and other cash and goods working for Gayton McKenzie “in the smuggling business”;
  2. On his release in 2003, he declined numerous invitations to take part in robberies and scams, despite having only R3000 in his bank account;
  3. In 2004, he earned a small wage as the agent for a man selling refurbished desks and stationery to schools in the Free State;
  4. Still in 2004 he used his old contacts to arrange discounts on equipment for a partner starting a nightclub in Odendaalsrus, and earned a stake in the business;
  5. In September 2005, he got a teaching job at Calculus Secondary School in Bloemfontein, teaching life orientation and English, for which he earned R3000 a month. He bought an old VW Golf, but had to put it on blocks;
  6. In 2006, with less than R10000 in assets, he struck a deal with Gayton McKenzie to form X Concepts Publishing to promote and sell McKenzie’s prison biography. They also began a fish company with four trucks and a refrigerated warehouse, and later sold it “for profit”;
  7. Kunene became rich in 2007 selling tickets for McKenzie’s motivational talks to companies for “big money” and also advised people on “holes” in their home security for a fee. A portion of the money they made from the book sales was invested in a “mine consultancy business”. Benefactor Greg James’s company, CRG, hired Kunene on a large contractor’s salary. He does not deny that he received share options allegedly worth hundreds of thousands of rands;
  8. In February 2008, he was appointed a senior manager of community relations at CRG. He bought a multimillion-rand Sandton apartment and a Porsche 911, using a numberplate that read “What now?” as a taunt to prisoners who said he could not afford the car without resorting to crime;
  9. Applying business lessons he says they had learnt from mentors, James and Gavin Varejes, Kunene and McKenzie attracted foreign investors and became part owners of “about three, four companies”; and
  10. In February 2010, the pair began mining operations in Zimbabwe. Kunene says they are in the process of securing R140-million in start-up funding from foreign investors for a R700-million mining project “in another African country” and plan further ZAR clubs in Durban and Mozambique.

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