Former kwaito star Loyiso 'Chippa' Mangena now a corporate beast

Pamodzi Group chief operations officer Loyiso Mangena. Picture Credit: Supplied
Pamodzi Group chief operations officer Loyiso Mangena. Picture Credit: Supplied

Former actor and kwaito star Loyiso Mangena is now a hotshot executive at one of the biggest black-owned companies in South Africa.

Mangena, popularly known as Chippa, is chief operations officer at Pamodzi Group and has been working hand-in-hand with founder Ndaba Ntsele since 2011.

Talking to Sowetan at their plush head office in Melrose, north of Johannesburg, Mangena said that he had always been business-minded and is not really surprised by his success in the industry.

"I've always been, I believe, an entrepreneur, so when you were seeing me on TV I was already in business. The transition for me was quite easy, especially with my background. I come from an entrepreneurial background and even my parents owned shops. So I come from looking [after] the family's general dealer and all of that."

The son of retired football player and commentator Mike "Sporo" Mangena, Loyiso ventured into music after leaving the popular local soapie Backstage, joining forces with then famous kwaito star Mzambiya. It was through his work on TV that he met Pamodzi group founder Ntsele.

"I used to have a show that was called B4 da Fame that I produced and one of the episodes was on Ndaba. I think when we were engaging there was chemistry. Some things you can't really pin down but I think there was a chemistry... We started talking on what we could do together and it evolved and I ended up joining Pamodzi Investments at the time. We are now Pamodzi Group."

Sowetan contacted Mangena after a picture of him in parliament surfaced, leading to speculation that he was a member of parliament.

"I was in parliament a couple of weeks ago at the DTI [Department of Trade and Industry] portfolio committee meeting. Government had invited us to represent black business in the discussion with the government and certain SOEs [state-owned enterprises] in terms of what black business is experiencing in the market ."