Matekane conquers Africa
- wins prestigious Forbes Best of Africa entrepreneur of the year award,
- King Letsie leads praises of business mogul who has “done us proud”.
BUSINESS mogul Sam Matekane has won the Forbes Best of Africa’s leading entrepreneur award for 2021.
The award is given to business people with a record of creating businesses “with far-reaching and positive contributions to the development of Africa”.
Mr Matekane is the founder and chairperson of the Matekane Group of Companies (MGC), a multi- sector business empire with interests in mining, aviation, property and agriculture among others. MGC operates in Lesotho and South Africa.
His win was announced by Forbes’ Mark Furlong, in a virtual ceremony on Friday.
“The winner of Forbes Best of Africa leading entrepreneur of the year is Mr Sam Matekane, the chairman of Matekane Group of Companies in Lesotho,” Mr Furlong said during the ceremony. He said the award was given to people who have shown “great commitment in building novel, strong and viable businesses empires”.
King Letsie III, who delivered a speech at the virtual event, paid homage to Mr Matekane’s outstanding business exploits. He said the entire nation was honoured by Forbes’ recognition of Mr Matekane.
“I would like to congratulate Ntate Sam Matekane for this honour that has been bestowed on him; the Certificate of Distinction by Forbes in recognition for his outstanding leadership in the arena of business and other areas of life.
“We, in Lesotho, are very proud to have a citizen of his stature, calibre, leadership and generosity. He is a citizen with so much humility and he has shown kindness to many people across the country for many years.
“I want to thank Forbes and all the people concerned for honouring this son of the soil and for honouring Lesotho and Basotho with this prestigious honour,” His Majesty said.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Matekane said he was honoured to be recognised by Forbes.
“It is truly an honour to be receiving such an award. I am humbled to be counted by Forbes Magazine as one of the greatest businessmen in Africa,” Mr Matekane said, adding it had taken him 35 years to the build the MGC empire.
“Our subsidiaries are MGC Mining, MGC Properties, MGC Construction and MGC Aviation. We are operating in different industries such as agriculture.
“We have been contributing towards the fight against Covid-19 since it was detected in our country in 2020. We started by procuring PCR testing equipment and assisting with the setting up of the national laboratory.
“We went further to procure intensive care unit beds and building a hospital wing that focuses on Covid-19 patients. We have realised the importance of contributing towards the vaccination of Lesotho citizens to combat this virus.
“This is the only way we can have any hope for the future. We have therefore partnered with the government of Lesotho as the local private sector. We have created a fund to assist our government with the procurement of vaccines. As the chairman of the fund, my aim together with my team, is to ensure that our people have a chance for better lives.”
He attributed his success to the hard work put in by his employees.
“What MGC has achieved would not be possible without the input of our employees to whom I am grateful. This award belongs to MGC employees and the nation at large.
“MGC has received tremendous support from the nation and the government of Lesotho. I remain committed to extending a helping hand to the people of this mountain kingdom all in the effort of solving our many development challenges,” Mr Matekane said.