Over and above being a successful entrepreneur, Jack has recently published a book on BEE codes

Lihle Mtshali

Lihle Mtshali

Vuyo Jack, chief executive of empowerment rating company Empowerdex, has added an extra title to his list of accomplishments.

He is the author of Broad-based BEE - The Complete Guide, a reference book on the recently gazetted black economic empowerment codes. But his contemporaries in black economic empowerment circles would never guess what Jack's dream career was when he was growing up.

He wanted to create musical and film masterpieces.

Jack was born in 1976 in Dube Village, Soweto. His father, who worked for a shipping company, was a pianist and his mother, a teacher, sang with her husband in a church group. He says his favourite childhood memories are those of the sounds of R&B music playing around the house.

"That kind of musical influence wears off on you," he says.

He received his primary school education at Sizanani and Luyolo Primary schools. Luyolo was close to where his maternal grandmother lived and after school young Jack would visit her for a dose of grandmother's love.

Jack matriculated from St David's in Inanda, Johannesburg, in 1993 and went on to study towards a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits). His main objective? To learn how to raise money for his music and movies.

"I had never wanted to be a chartered accountant, but I knew that I wouldn't make much money as a musician so I decided to study something that would help me pursue my interests at a later stage," says Jack.

As part of the mandatory articles, Jack taught for a year and qualified as a chartered accountant at the end of 2000 after completing two years of articles with PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

In 2001, at the age of 24, Jack co-founded Empowerdex with a friend he had met at Wits, Chia-Chao Wu. The company was run from Jack's house and Wu had to liquidate some of his investments to inject some cash into the business.

He is passionate about teaching and says that whatever work he is doing, teaching will always be a part of it. He lectures financial accounting at Wits on a part-time basis and was recently appointed as visiting professor of the School of Management at the University of the Free State.

"I love empowering people mentally and I find that I learn a lot while I am teaching," he says.

Jack is single and has no children.