How The Harsh Treatment of An Orphan Led To Levi Mnguni Becoming A Multimillionaire

Levi Mnguni

Capitilizing on a business opportunity after the ill treatment of an orphan by a property owner, Levi Mnguni is the founder of Levingston Student Accommodation, a 100% black owned company with over 300 tenants occupying its premises.

Levingston Group

On top of that, he’s also the CEO of Compubooks, and the recently launched, Thuto Stationery.

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A young Levi Mnguni

Growing up with his grand­par­ents in the small vil­lage of Troya, Levi never thought he would be where he is today, he was forced to sell vi­en­nas at a young age to help with the in­come at home.

“I hated it. I al­ways told my­self I am go­ing to work in a nice of­fice, with a twirling chair one day,”

Lit­tle did he know that ex­pe­ri­ence would be handy some day.

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After matriculating, he went to enroll at the Tshwane University of Technology, there he met his roommate who indirectly changed his life forever — he was an or­phan and ex­pe­ri­enced a great deal of abuse grow­ing up.

In February of that year, the roommate couldn’t con­tinue to pay his rent besides being a bursary holder. The landlord requested a meeting, and Levi was asked to interpret.

“The landlord asked where the rent money was, and he explained that he was an orphan and had been abused for many years and the guys who were helping him with money for rent had problems.”

The words that came out of the mouth of the landlord sent chills down Levi’s spine.

“If he doesn’t have parents, what does he want us to do? we’re not running a charity case here…..we want money, otherwise he must vacate our premises.”

Levi couldn’t translate such a response, and instead opted to leave the meeting. The next day he found himself helping the trio move out, they went and found another place to live in together.

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Levingston Student Accommodation

That fateful day gave birth to Levingston Student Accommodation, the company was officially registered in 2010 to help students find accommodation.

“We entered into the field, not as property owners, but as agents where we would make it easy for students to find accommodation in the townships.”

It wasn’t a smooth sailing at first, they only managed to place 26 students after opening their offices, which dropped to a low 8 by June of that year.

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The following year, Levi decided to move a step closer to the main plan which was to assist bursary holders.

“I reviewed the concept and only focused on bursary holders and we managed to place 76 students and that boosted the turnover.”

By 2014, the company’s turnover was around R1.4 million, with three individuals employed.

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Rent Secure

Levi promoting Rent Secure at the University of Limpopo

In 2015, after seeing a flaw that disadvantaged students, Livi launched Rent Secure, a personalised service for bursary holders.

“You would find that a bursary holder will be looking for accommodation and the landlord wants money, but the scheme only pays in October. We step in and secure that rental for the months pending payment,”



In May 2016, Levi identified another challenge faced by bursary holders, the issue of getting study materials on time.

Similarly to the rental aspect faced by bursary holders, Livi launched Compubooks. The idea behind the company is to cut the red tape, and make sure students have the required resources to flourish in their studies.

“Companies offer bursaries but miss the little things that happen in between starting school and when the schemes actually pay out.”

Thuto Stationary

In July 2020, he founded Thuto Stationery, a stationary brand, which is the leading manufacturer of quality-driven product lines that are made by Africans, for Africans.

“I have been sup­ply­ing sta­tionery to schools through Compubooks, and we are ex­pected to make a pre­sen­ta­tion about the brand we are sup­ply­ing.

“I got both­ered with pre­sent­ing prod­ucts I knew noth­ing about. That’s when the concept of Thuto Stationary was de­vel­oped.

I wanted to come up with a brand that spoke to us as Africans hence the use of colours and pat­terns,”

Thuto prod­ucts can be spot­ted with their vi­brant colours and pat­terns. The main prod­ucts are pencils, eraser, glue, ruler, exercise books and pocket files.

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