Ntuthuko Shezi was born in KwaZulu Natal, at a small village of Ndwedwe – he broke the chains to become the first in his family to graduate at a university.
Growing up, Shezi was raised by his grandparents, who owned a few cows that were the financial muscle of the family. Each year, they sold a cow to pay for his mother’s university education.
During that time, Shezi saw the crucial role cows played in his family and the historical power they held in the African financial system.
He saw a window of opportunity in the market, and thought of ways he could re-invent cattle ownership in the modern digital age. It was from that realisation that Livestock Wealth was born.
From a young age, Shezi has always had that entrepreneurial drive – he always sought solutions to every-day problems. In his lifetime, Shezi has started and failed in over 14 business ventures.
These ventures include selling printed T-Shirts in high school, to running an arcade video game business at UCT and a Maths & Science Weekend School, to name a few of the many ventures he’s engaged in.
Shezi has never been one to follow the path of least resistance, he revels in finding solutions where no answers exist.
Shezi launched Livestock Wealth in October 2015, a startup which combines technology and the African continent’s oldest and most enduring traditional form of wealth – cattle.
The crowd-farming platform introduced the cow as an investment asset class in which consumers are able to own cattle regardless of where they are or their expertise in cattle or farming.
The startup offers individuals with no access to land, skills or time, the opportunity to own livestock within a pro-managed farming operation.
Through the platform’s website and mobile app, investors can invest their money in cattles and agricultural food products, rather than in volatile stock market, unit trusts, ETFs, forex etc
Shezi who calls himself “Cow Executive Officer” of Livestock Wealth, has started the company with only 26 cattle as investment, has since added thousands of cattles on the platform, with a single investor owning as much as R3 million worth of assets.
According to the Cow Executive Officer, the pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for them. Ever since lockdown began, the startup has surged and saw their best performance ever.
This really shows that people are being more aware of the need to put investments aside for future eventualities. Before covid-19, many people thought they would live forever but the pandemic changed everything, the company has seen much growth in all age groups becoming interested in investing.
The platform provides a reliable source of income to farmers, who are in charge of cattle’s care, while enabling those who don’t have access to land, to own their own cattle and produce healthy, organic, hormone-free beef.
Shezi has pointed out that as the company continues to grows, its ultimate mission to be present wherever there are farmers in Africa especially in SADC region, becomes clearer and clearer everyday.
The company has owns its land and has so far expanded its offerings to include agricultural assets that can be owned by investors, this includes macadamia trees, sugarcane plants and maize plants.
In 2020, the startup introduced Farmers Club Meat Box, which is an e-commerce service, allowing clients to purchase and pay for grass-fed beef via its online mediums.
Livestock Wealth has so far became a R100 multimillion-rand enterprise, with future looking more brighter than ever for Ntuthuko Shezi and his team.
In conclusion, Shezi has said he’s got more in store for his business and he’s currently putting in the hours to achieve them, in a span of 3 – 5 years, he wants to expand Livestock Wealth to at least 10 African countries and manage millions of cows.