Getting down to business

Cindy Preller

NELSON Mandela Bay Business Chamber president Mandla Madwara became an overnight hero when he addressed city leaders a few months ago in council and pleaded for political stability in the region.

Personally he has become quite accustomed to strangers coming up to him, shaking his hand and chatting to him about the economy of the city.

La Femme treated him to lunch at Fushin Sushi Bar located in one of his favourite places in the city, Stanley Street in Richmond Hill.

Arriving quite hungry after hours of follow-up negotiations with city leaders, Madwara enjoyed crispy black peppered prawns and Peruvian scallops as well as two complimentary taste testers of Tanith’s tempura prawns and seared steak carpaccio from Fushin Sushi Bar owner Mark Oosthuizen.

I like Fushin Sushi Bar because I love fresh seafood and enjoy the vibe in the restaurant. I was introduced to the restaurant by a friend and despite not loving sushi, I enjoy the other food on the menu.

The best thing about my career is being able to advance the business interests of the community. As president I have been given the opportunity to get to know what drives and threatens the local economy. At a personal level it has also been great to network and meet the captains of industry, sharing their concerns and visions for the future.

I’ll know I’ve made it when I can give my wife, Nomakazi, the option to work or not to work. I will also know that I have made it, when I can travel and go on holiday whenever I want to. Ideally I will know I have made it, when I have made a meaningful difference in the New Brighton community where I grew up in terms of assisting young entrepreneurs.

The person who has taught me the most is my very close friend, Mthiwabo Ndube. He has taught me that our strengths can also be our weaknesses and that humility is an important aspect to hold on to, no matter how high you climb.

I have a soft spot for cake. My wife and I love Black Forest cake but recently we also discovered a new favourite, red velvet cake.

I should have studied to become a pilot.

I’d love to party with socialite Khanyi Mbau.

I’m reading a biography on Steve Biko.

When I was 16, I wish I knew how to ride a bicycle and how to swim.

My music weakness is jazz and African music, I find it very soothing. Brenda Fassie is my all-time favourite.

Nothing makes me happier than reading my newspaper, while watching football on a Sunday morning – sitting at home in my pyjamas. Everyone knows not to bother me and I like to multitask between my iPad and the television remote, with a glass of ice tea next to me.

My favourite item of clothing is moccasin shoes.

I absolutely hate to be blackmailed and undermined.

I am saving to buy a private jet.

I share my life with my family – my wife, Nomakazi, and 14-year-old daughter, Siviwe.

I can’t go a day without breakfast.

My favourite places in the metro are Stanley Street and The Boardwalk.

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