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Photo: Lutendo Malatji/ TYI

Ntuthuko Shezi may be an electro-mechanical engineer by qualification, but he’s an entrepreneur at heart. By age 26 he had started nine businesses.

Number 10 was Scratch Mobile, which has been based at OR Tambo International Airport for over 10 years. It enables customers to have their cars fixed while they travel.

Last year Shezi disrupted the financial industry when he launched Livestock Wealth, an asset management firm with a twist. The assets managed by Livestock Wealth are cows which are kept on three farms in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State.

“We enable the ordinary man to invest in something that’s easy to understand in terms of their culture and belief systems,” says Shezi. “Cows have long been a source of pride and dignity for Africans.”

Livestock Wealth’s 360 investors own 700 cows, adding up to millions of rands in assets. It’s important to Shezi that owners connect emotionally with their cows, and Livestock Wealth maintains the connection through technology.

Surveillance allows investors to look in on their livestock with tracking devices that enable report back on cows’ movements and overall health. Shezi’s vision is to change his clients’ lives by enabling them to pay for big expenses like education and healthcare with their livestock wealth.

“Relationships are more important than the product you sell.”