Michael Mangondoza (25), affectionately known as “Money Mike”, was born a hustler and making money is now part of his DNA. He has always wanted to be distinct even his days as a “runner” at the Ximex Mall are in central Harare.
Some of his peers are still there at the former Ximex, but he has since diversified. The tall, light skinned lad has also challenged his peers that they can not be on the streets for good, and they need to diversify their activities. Smart and presentable, Money Mike is just 25-years-old and already he has left tongues waggling about how he has achieved to such a huge success and who he is he. Little is known about this latest young businessperson in Zimbabwe.
By the way, being young, Money Mike is different from your typical ‘‘mbingas’’ — rich busters and wannabe who always flaunt their cash, fashion style and cars. To him, he is just the boy next door. Judging from what The Herald on Saturday Lifestyle has gathered, Money Mike deserves to be even featured in the popular Netflix series— “Young, Rich and Famous”.
This may only not be possibe because he is too humble to the extent that he does not want much limelight and attention. In fact, Money Mike confessed that he does not like to act. He believes is real. Of course, he is gifted and talented too, brain wise.
This aptly sums up the affable and shrewd CEO of the week. Indeed, he deserves the moniker Money Mike since ‘‘moola’’ seems to be trailing him like a shadow. But who is he and what makes him tick? Unlike other big shots, known as mbinga in street lingo, he has opted to “chew” his earnings with the poor, for a start. “I think the first thing if you want to write about me, talk of my philanthropic work,” said Money Mike in an interview.
“I support Salem Children whereby I do look after 150 children in Epworth through funding their education and meals. “I run two fuel companies namely BetterBrands Petroleum and Rocket Energy – where I get my money to look after myself and the less privileged.”
An astute business executive, Money Mike was never born rich, but was raised up in the ghetto where all people are as good as equal. “I was born in Chitungwiza,” he said. “I attended six primary schools in Kariba, then Frank Johnson, Tsatse Primary School (Domboshava) Tynwald, Nyanga and Eastridge Primary School. I did my high school at Churchill Boys, Conway College where I was the headboy.
“Afterwards, I did ACCA internship at Financial Focus Group in Harare.” Growing up, Money Mike was a big dreamer. “I was fascinated by planes that would fly over our house when I was young, so I wanted to be a pilot initially,” he said. “In my family, I have a little sister who has big dreams as well.” With many wondering what he is up to nowadays, he explained: “Like what I said earlier on, I am currently the chief executive officer for two petroleum companies and flying the company’s flag high.”
In his spare time, he keeps himself fit.“I do cross for workouts and gym as well as taking walks,” he said. To ensure that he is not left behind, he has a philosophy which keeps him going. “I am swimming with the tide and not against it, collaboration and innovation is the bedrock of my establishment,” said Money Mike. Subsequently at nine years old, his mother, sister and himself were stranded on the streets of Harare with no food and shelter.
“My mother died when I was 12, father was absent and I was everyone’s child and soon to be the golden goose,” said Money Mike. “I was raised by my grandmother who was strict about church values and ethos which has made me to be the man I am.”
Talking about his highest education, Money Mike said in the wake of completing his ACCA, he has worked in marketing, property, sales and branding. “In 2019, Platinum Fuels gave me my first exposure to the petroleum industry,” he said. “I worked as a sales agent and reflected on very first sale. I felt inspired to do more in the fuel industry.”
His giant leap into entrepreneurship was ushered by the birth of Rocket Energy. By far this experience was the most gruelling! “The company was built on debts, but it had to be done,” he said. “So much time was spent fasting and praying for a breakthrough and when it came it was like the floodgates of Lake Kariba were opened. All I know is self-taught. “I am empowered by this famous quote by Grant Cardone ‘Be obsessed or be average’. I am obsessed with sales and value addition — customers should always get quality products, at the best price, offering premium convenience that will build lasting relationships.”
Money Mike said the bulk of the fuel industry was swamped with big losses emanating from unfulfilled promises. “Betterbrands Petroleum as a whole, aims to restore trust and integrity,” he said. “Rocket Energy would like to do the same and watch this space.”
With these two brands, Money Mike wants to make the petroleum industry accessible to young people. He said it was pivotal for him to showcase young talent in an industry that belongs to the older generation.
Money Mike has the ability to connect with customers, anticipate their needs, meet them and also predict market trends. “In the meantime, I am pursuing the IOT or law, walk the British bulldog Pancho, finance Salem’s Children’s Home and watch every New England Patriots game,” he said. Like any other person, Money Mike has a role model.
“My role models are Grant Cardone (American based billionaire sales entrepreneur) because of his principles as they have guided me through my sales learning journey,” he said. “Then there is Vusi Thembekwayo. I am part of the Vusi Thembekwayo exclusive Club 100. He is a well of vast knowledge. Lastly, is Scott Sakupwanya. I am yet to personally meet anyone that gives more than Scott. It’s a principle that he inspired in me.”
Asked how he relates with his peers as young as he is Money Mike said: “My friends that I hang around with also motivate me. We share the same drive and ambition to become better and improve, that way we relate easily. “Surprisingly, while in high school I befriended a 97-year-old lady that lived next door. I was fascinated by her intelligence at that age. “She later introduced me to her daughter as her friend and the daughter would later give me my first work in property management where I managed over 20 tenants on her behalf for a very decent monthly commission.
I have been reinventing myself since then.” Money Mike said he is different from some of his peers as he does not drink or enjoy partying. “If I am not with family at home or having a business meeting with customers and other stakeholders, then I would be reading,” he said. “I have had the best social interactions within these groups. I have a number of international coaches and friends too.”
He did not want to shed light how on his networth. “I am a private person, but just know I have what can cater for me and my family,” he said. Fashion wise, Money Mike is not much fascinated about expensive designer brands. “My background taught me very well,” he said.
“Time will come and everything will show. I am a shy person.” Money Mike is currently single. “I am busy chasing money and projects,” he said. “I will find the suitable girl and marry, but now let me build my empire.”