The Fees Must Fall protests had dire consequences for café employee Eddie at the University of Cape .
Dumisani Nene's decision to trade in his dreams of being a hot shot political lawyer to become a landlord to government, has paid off as he makes his mark in the commercial property sector.
Nene is the director of Isivuno Apex Properties, which is listed property company ApexHi Property Limited's enterprise development partner in terms of the Property Transformation Charter.
He said while studying towards his LLB from the former University of Durban- Westville in KwaZulu-Natal, he was inspired by Durban Advocate Imraan Moosa to be a political lawyer.
"I spent a lot of time in (Moosa's) chambers as a student and I learnt of litigation strategies that were very inspiring. At the time I believed that was the career I wanted to pursue.
"In the end it became a bread and butter issue for me. I wanted to make a decent living as quickly as possible and unfortunately the reality then was that the law profession did not pay very well," said Nene.
With Nene holding the reins, Isivuno Apex Properties has grown the portfolio of 13 properties in Pretoria from an initial worth of R400million to R1,4billion.
Government - the company's main tenant - occupies more than 440000m² of the office portfolio, accounting for 18percent of ApexHi's annual rental income.
Nene said handling government as a tenant was not hard, and the state had the same needs as any corporate client would of its landlord.
He believes success is not just in being able to make money for yourself and your business but also to pave the way for others.
Isivuno Apex Properties has done its bit for smaller businesses including the procurement of services such as Nombo Mabhele Quantity Surveyors, a company owned by African women.
Amaqhawe Projects, a black-owned construction company, was appointed as the main contractor for the R15 million refurbishment of Isivuno House in Hatfield, Pretoria and other projects.
"There are a lot of very good companies out there doing excellent work, and we don't wait for them to come to us - we look for them. The only requirement we have is for people to know that the opportunity we offer is only as good as the reputation that they maintain," said Nene.