Asanda Bhele: How a Christmas bonus secured his financial future
Community members of Naledi, Soweto were well aware of Asanda Bhele’s innate entrepreneurial abilities and had no doubt that he’d achieve great things. What they did not foresee was that the 25-year-old would become a millionaire through Forex.
Currently touring Europe, Bhele says he was always looking for ways to support his family, and not turn to a life of crime. “Most families in this area struggle, and I’ve seen friends do just about ANYTHING to make a quick buck. I wanted to make an honest living because that’s how my mom and grandmother raised me.” This included odd jobs in factories throughout Johannesburg and working as a security guard.
Tale as old as time
Asanda Bhele’s story is a typical ‘rags to riches’ tale. Born and raised by a single mother in Naledi, Soweto, Bhele is the oldest of three kids. To say he and his sisters struggled is an understatement.
Realising that she was unable to provide for her children, Bhele’s mom, Kuhle, decided to take up work as a live-in domestic worker in Sandton. Asanda and his siblings moved in with their grandmother, and subsequently took on the role of breadwinner.
His teachers recall that he was a smart kid, who had easy money-making abilities. While he was a happy kid, he and his siblings were often teased because they hardly had money for school lunch or new school shoes. “My mom would send money home for groceries but we never had new school uniforms. It was all ‘hand-me-downs’ from older cousins. I felt it was my duty to look out for them.”
After school, Bhele would help out in the spaza shop, eventually selling treats to those at school. This operation was shut down immediately by the school’s headmaster because he didn't have a permit to sell on school property. Not deterred by the setback, Bhele continued to make money, working at a local car wash and barber.
Time for a change
After Matric, he worked full-time in a factory while a few of his friends would attend university. “At that point, university wasn’t an option for me. My grandmother was old and sick and someone needed to look after my sisters.” He was an unskilled worker, meaning he didn’t earn as much as others. “There wasn’t any stability and I needed to make a change.”
After researching and reading, sometimes until the wee hours of the morning, he was waiting for the right time to invest. During December, Bhele, along with the rest of the factory workers, received hefty bonuses; perhaps a signal from the universe. “I was waiting for a sign and there it was, in the form of a bonus. I kept listing pros and cons but I was itching and ready to invest.”
An avid Math lover, Bhele admits it was a calculated move and a risk but soon enough, he found success.
A bright future
He has managed to save enough for his siblings’ education and surprised his mom with the news. “I told her she can come home…to her new home.” He also flew his sisters to Europe, where they are currently enjoying a much-needed break before he returns home to think of his new venture. “I’m ready to start my own small business but will continue to trade in my spare time.”
The Forex market is unique and experienced huge trading volumes; non-stop from Beijing to London and New York, with over US$4-trillion changing hands each day. Bhele admits that it’s risky but with the right training and mindset, you can be successful too.
Asanda is quick to point out that in a country with such a high unemployment rate, we should be doing more to educate and empower young people, teaching them the skills to make a living.
Headquartered in London with trading floors and offices in major markets around the world, the Learn to Trade organisation has brought international trading techniques to South Africa through a series of free forex workshops.
Tickets are available free to the public but offered on a first-come, first-served basis, as space is extremely limited.
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