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Mr. Herman Mashaba Chairman, Leswikeng

Herman's academic dream was shattered in 1980 in his second year of a BAdmin degree at the University Of The North when the University was shut down due to political unrests. When the University was reopened after two months, he decided not to go back. Strong promises to send him out of the country for military training.

Late 1980 found himself a clerical job with Spar Pretoria where he worked for 7 months. Then worked 23 months for Motani Industries, which became his longest and last salaried job. During his spell at Motani, managed to buy a car, and two months later resigned and started his business career.

Sold different products on a commission basis from the boot of his car for close to two years. Products portfolio ranging from insurance, fire detection systems, linen, crockery, dinner services, etc. His break came late 1983 when he was exposed and sold hair products on a commission basis for one of the companies in Johannesburg. It took him 19 months to make up his mind to start his own hair care manufacturing business.

February 1985 the first bottle of Black Like Me products hit the South African market. Business started with three other partners and wife with a R30 000 loan, in a 200sm SBDC units in Ga-Rankuwa, in the then homeland of Bophuthatswana. Business enjoyed massive growth from inception. Built and moved in his own factory in Mabopane by 1990. Mabopane factory gutted by arsonist fire in November 1993.

  • July 1997 sold business to Colgate Palmolive
  • August 1999 bought business back from CP
  • 2001 launch products in London, UK
  • 2002 took a decision to join the BEE arena. Formed Leswikeng Minerals & Energy (Pty) Ltd
  • January 2004 resigned as CEO of Black Like Me. Still remained as major shareholder
  • To-date has invested in various sectors; mining, construction, exhibitions, real estate, printing, security
  • 2005 sold 49.9% of Black Like Me to Amka Products
Awards Received over the years:
1993 - Oude Molen Reserve Order of Merit
1994 - New Nation/Engen Businessman of the Year
     - Southern TVL African Chamber of Commerce
     - Marketing Person of the Year by the Institute of Marketing Management
2001 - SABC/Tribute Achievers Award
2003 - Award for Entrepreneurial Leadership by Henley Management College
2004 - Free Market Award by the Free Market Foundation
     - President's Award by the Black Management Forum

Herman Mashaba is currently the Chairman of Leswikeng.