PE businessman shares the secrets of his success

Khusta Jack’s incredible life journey is laid bare in his new book

Hard work, sacrifice, sweat and tears can bring permanent satisfaction along with permanent success.

This is the message that Nelson Mandela Bay businessman and columnist Mkhuseli “Khusta” Jack hopes readers will take from his new book, titled To Survive and Succeed.

From the moment his family was evicted from their home in Mauritzkraal Farm, in Hankey, to surviving apartheid police brutality as a school pupil in the late 1970s, and finally taking the leap of faith into entrepreneurship, Jack takes readers through his life journey detailing moments of failure and heartbreak.

PE businessman Khusta Jack with his new book ‘To Survive and Succeed – From farm boy to businessman’
PE businessman Khusta Jack with his new book ‘To Survive and Succeed – From farm boy to businessman’
Image: Werner Hills

His hunger for education remained the key driver leading up to the moment he finally obtained economic freedom

Jack said he wrote the book for the entire family.

He believes the easy-reading book can be enjoyed by both young children and adults alike.

“I have written this book in such a way that it becomes a book that can be enjoyed by everyone in the home, from children to adults.

“This book carries a lot of factual history, no distortions as to what the South Africa of apartheid observed during my time.

“That is the picture that I am trying to paint in a manner that will be easy to read for intellectuals and ordinary people.”

Jack said many had expected him to write a book that trash-talked former president Jacob Zuma from beginning to end, but Zuma’s name only appears on a single page in the book.

“I wanted to expose all the people who touched my life, one way or the other, and the people who I observed to have developed my character. But unfortunately, due to the limitations, I could not mention all of them,” Jack said.

He said he felt he needed to rather pen down how he overcame numerous stumbling blocks.

“From my birth, my life was full of obstacles and stumbling blocks.

“I had already accepted that life was going to throw obstacles my way. I quickly figured that obstacles are not going to vanish, mine is to try as they come and crush all stumbling blocks as they come.”

Jack said this was the approach that young South Africans needed to take in their efforts for a better life.

“In 1989 I was living in a shack in Mdantsane [a township outside East London] with a leaking roof. Today I live in one of Port Elizabeth’s prime suburbs. By any stretch of the imagination that should be construed as success.”

Jack said young people ought to realise that the more “natural” and older ways of obtaining success would lead to lasting results.

“There are those who want to have this kind of success with no effort, which is practically impossible, or ends in tears, pain and humiliation.

“The South African youth have to accept that the way to advance is going through the old ways – through hard work, suffering, perseverance – rather than attempts to get rich quick.

“That is not going to work. They must also have proper role models, not people who rose into the economy or the commercial world on the back of political patronage and political capital.”

He said going forward it would only be a matter of having to excel.

“If you excel, all those who are watching you will want to excel and then we will have a nation of people who value excellence,” Jack said.

“There is no profit in being mediocre and striving for mediocrity lands you in a barren, failed state run by warlords and ganglords – this is a space that we are very close to and the danger is still looming.”

To Survive and Succeed is available at major bookshops including Bargain Books in Walmer, Fogarty’s Bookshop and Exclusive Books, as well as on Amazon.

● Book launches will be held in Port Elizabeth at the Boardwalk ICC on October 18, in Cape Town on October 23, and in Johannesburg on November 26. A date for the East London launch is yet to be determined.