Zithulele "KK" Combi is the first winner of the Johnnie Walker Striding Man competition, which comes with a hefty R1million prize.
Combi, the founder and chairman of the forex group Master Currency and the investment group Thembeka Capital, trounced eight finalists to win the competition, which recognisesbusinessmen and women who have risen above their challenging backgrounds to make a success of their lives.
Combi will celebrate his victory in style at a sponsored private party with 200 of his business associates and friends.
The prize package includes a R500000 bursary fund that will be established in the winner's name to give others a "leg up" through tertiary study.
He also gets a R200000 limited edition Johnnie Walker Blue Label 1805 anniversary blend.
Combi, 57, who grew up in Cape Town's Gugulethu township, started out as a small cafe owner before building one of the first township shopping centres at Nyanga station. He later sold the shopping centre to Southern Life for R45million.
He broke the South Africa banking community's monopoly on forex dealings by setting up an independent dealership after an overseas trip during which he discovered the relative simplicity of foreign currency exchange.
He then established Thembeka, which focuses on private equity investments and black economic empowerment transactions.