Siviwe “Chippa” Mpengesi was born in the rural parts of Eastern Cape, at a village called Ngqamakhwe. He grew up with his mother and 2 siblings, sharing a rondavel.
After matriculating, his family couldn’t afford to send him to pursue his studies at a tertiary institution.
In 1996, at the age of 18, he moved to Cape Town. He had nothing but a dream in his soul and a desire to work hard.
He was living in a shack at the township of Nyanga, and was unemployed and also, uneducated.
He felt really stuck in life. Although he attended church on a regular basis, he still felt no sense of purpose. People would avoid him because the previous night, he had been to their house begging for food.
Despite these challenges, Chippa was determined that he would one day turn things around.
He took a short security course and got a job slightly afterwards as a security guard. Life was still tough as he was earning a measly R900 and also, the working environment wasn’t positive, to say the least.
As a security guard, Chippa would look after houses, and also cars in parking lots. Some people tipped him well, but it was still not enough to take his family forward. Their shack had no furniture or anything of real value.
He got married in 2001, making things more difficult for himself financially.
They had a very humble wedding, as they couldn’t afford anything else. Worse part, his wife’s family couldn’t come, and a honeymoon was out of the question.
He used to invite people to his church, but they’d laugh at him, and reject his invitation, because looking at how his life had turned out, made them doubt that GOD even existed.
According to Chippa, those words were hard for him to hear, and would leave him with millions of unanswered questions.
“How could I pray to God, how can I come to this church, how could I read the Bible when my life was the opposite?”
His turning point came about when he found a new faith in GOD.
One day, he was all alone guarding an abandoned building, there was nothing to do, and no-one to talk to.
A colleague had given him a Bible and by reading it, it was as if God spoke to him, that he had a plan for him. Through faith, his desire to own a business grew.
Chippa then decided to study the ins&ons of the security business. He later registered a company but struggled to get contracts due to a lack of track record.
Having seen all the Pick N Pay shopping trolleys in the township, he knew they were losing as people were using them as modes of transport and earning money by selling them at the scrapyard.
He then approached Pick N Pay’s management and suggested they hire him to collect their trolleys so as to save them lots of money. They were unimpressed by this proposal, as they didn’t believe that they were losing many trolleys.
Although they didn’t give him a contract, they still agreed to a letter authorising him to collect those trolleys anyways.
In the first month, he and an employee, picked up around 800 trolleys. Pick n Pay eventually offered him a contract of R40 000 a month.
This was the start of Siviwe “Chippa” Mpengesi’s rags-to- riches transformation.
Today, he is a successful property developer; has many assets including commercial buildings, homes, and cars – as well as owning the controversial PSL club, Chippa United.
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