Fri Apr 18 20:13:41 SAST 2014
Fri Apr 18 20:13:41 SAST 2014

Being a billionaire is overrated: Motsepe

Sep 16, 2013 | ANDILE NDLOVU: The Times |   88 comments

Mining magnate Patrice Motsepe tried to convince students at the Tshwane University of Technology, in Pretoria yesterday, that being a billionaire was overrated.

MONEY TALKS: Mining magnate Patrice Motsepe greets Mbali Munano at the Tshwane University of Technology on the latest leg of the Motsepe Foundation's road show yesterday. The foundation wants to give about R200-million to the poor by June 20 Picture: LAUREN MULLIGAN

"Money doesn't mean that you'll be happy. Money is very, very important but having it doesn't mean you'll be happy. So always pursue what you think makes you happy," Motsepe told the boisterous students.

The Times reports that the 51-year-old - South Africa's first and only black billionaire and the fourth-wealthiest man in the country, according to Forbes magazine - was on the latest leg of the Motsepe Foundation's national road show to listen to suggestions on development projects.

Motsepe's total assets are estimated at R29.9-billion by Forbes.

"Man cannot live by bread alone, which is correct, but man can also not live without bread," Motsepe said.

"So the thing I want to emphasise is don't always run for jobs because you think [you'll get] a lot of money. Go for jobs that you love. If you can make a lot of money in the process, it's even better."

His informal speech had just enough statements about striving and dreaming and believing in one's dreams.

It was not quite Bill Gates, who is credited with the memorable line to students: "Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger-flipping: 'opportunity'."

He told students: "When you apply for money from us, it's a grant, a gift. All we ask is that, when you're done, please try to help where you come from. We don't want you to pay us back."

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