From a rural background Given Mkhari has led MSG Afrika to a success story

Lihle Z Mtshali

Lihle Z Mtshali

There is great significance attached to naming a child in African culture. It is believed that the chosen name will influence the kind of life the child is likely to have.

So important is the ritual that Given Mkhari's aunt was adamant that her nephew would not have the English name Innocence, which she thought meant "no cents". Instead, to ensure that he would be given plenty and want for nothing in life, she named him Given.

At 33, Mkhari, who hails from rural Limpopo, has been given far more than what his family must have expected him to get.

Mkhari is the chief executive of MSG Afrika Investment Holdings, a black-owned media and communications investment company he co-founded in 2002 with his long time friend Simphiwe Mdlalose.

MSG has a 5percent stake in Telkom Media, which was last week awarded one of the five pay-TV licences by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa). "Telkom Media is a business that is very much in line with our overall broad strategy," says Mkhari.

Outside of strategic empowerment deals in the boardroom, Mkhari is probably best known for the talk show he hosted on Metro FM for four years before he left on a grand note in 2005.

His farewell gift was a call from President Thabo Mbeki who praised him for the sterling work he had done behind the microphone. "Radio is my first love and although I am no longer an active part of it, we are investing in its development through MSG," he says.

Mkhari has a long-standing relationship with Icasa. Radio TURF, the University of the North's campus radio station he started in 1995 with Mdlalose, was the first student radio station to be registered by Icasa.

MSG also manages a satellite radio for Harmony mines and has a 51percent stake in advertising agency The Jupiter Drawing Room.