Kenny Kunene is one of the most influential persons in South Africa. His fame is based on his history as an ex-convict turned successful businessman and politician. Although a controversial figure, he is equally seen as an inspiration to people with similar histories to keep striving for the best as he has established numerous businesses which contribute to his whooping net worth of R260 million.
Kenny Kunene Ventured Into Politics As A Teenager
The popular South African businessman was born on 21st October 1970 in Odendaalsrus, Free State Province in South Africa. There are not many details available on his childhood but it is gathered that he is the third child in the family and has three other siblings. His birth father is not known to the public which explains why he was raised by his mother under the care of his grandparents.
Kenny attended Marobe Primary School and Rearabetswe Secondary school both in the Free State Province. It was during these early years that he would venture into politics and for his involvement in the protests organized by students agitating against the apartheid regime, he was jailed for 6 months at age 15. He later got admitted into Vista University, now the Central University of Technology to further his studies. There, he obtained a teacher’s degree majoring in English and History.
Upon his release from prison, the young Kenny launched fully into politics as an ANC supporter before he shifted to the Economic Freedom Fighters in July 2013 after criticizing President Jacob Zuma in an open letter. He would also go on to serve in the ‘Central Command Team’ of the EFF before resigning in August 2013. That same year, he joined a new political party, Patriotic Alliance, and became the party’s Secretary-General by September 2013. He, however, resigned from his membership of the party in 2014 and has not been into active politics since then, although he remained on the political scene.
What Is Kenny Kunene’s Net Worth?
It is difficult to arrive at the actual figure of Kenny Kunene’s net worth with so many business endeavors under his name. However, information available puts his net worth at above R260 million as of now and there has not been any update to this in the public domain.
Kunene began to accumulate his fortune during his days as a high school teacher teaching English and History. However, it is known that he was involved in several activities in order to boost his earnings, and these include criminal activities ranging from the illegal sale of alcohol to Ponzi schemes. These illegal activities got him into trouble and by 1997, he was handed a 6-year prison sentence. Kunene made the best out of his prison term as he became very popular among fellow inmates. He also made friends in prison that would later become his business associates.
How Many Businesses Does Kunene Own In South Africa?
Kenny Kunene is a business magnet and has numerous business ventures spread across the country. One cannot say exactly how many businesses the Sushi King has in Mzansi but we can take a look at those that are known to the public which contribute to his net worth and they include:
Motivational Speaking & Ventures With McKenzie Gayton
After he was released from prison in 2003, Kenny bounced back to fending for himself almost immediately. He returned to the classroom after securing a job at Calculus Private School in Bloemfontein. However, he did not stay long on this job as he reconnected with a friend he met while in prison. This meeting was a turning point for Kunene. The said friend, McKenzie Gayton, had become a motivational speaker and even wrote his biography while in prison.
Gayton introduced Kunene to motivational speaking, they later set up a seafood distribution business and in 2006 started X Concept Publishing to help create awareness about Gayton’s biography. Their next joint venture was in mining consultancy where they served as mining agents to established companies. In 2008, Kunene landed a major job at Central Rand Gold as their community relations manager. This helped to boost his career and public image.
The ZAR Club
Kunene set up the famous ZAR club in 2011. The club was designed for the very rich who hosted lavish events within its premises. As a big fan of sushi, the ZAR club was also famous for serving exotic sushi. The club came under public criticism when he hosted notable South African personalities at the club to mark his birthday in 2010. He opted to spoil his guests with delicious sushi and this time it was served on the bodies of semi-naked young women. Political and civil organizations condemned this action, which was considered too demeaning to women.
Africa News Global
Kunene co-owns Africa News Global alongside Steve Motale with whom he started the firm in 2017. Motale was actually the one who approached Kunene to join the business as a founder due to his work as a motivational speaker since the key principle of the firm is to give voice to the voiceless.
Kunene decided to provide a competitor for the popular transport apps Uber and Bolt and in 2019, he created a rival app called Yookoo rides to give them a run for their money.
New Money Record
Kunene has also tried his hands on music. He owns the record label, New Money Record. He released an album, ZAR Sushi Mix under the label in 2012. The album consisted of selected house tracks and was his last attempt at music.
TV & Online Appearances
Another notable way Kenny Kunene makes money is via TV shows. Kunene is a jack of all trades and has tried his hands on acting. He was a reality TV star on e.tv’s So What: Big Money, Big Dreams, which aired in 2011. He also appeared in a British travel documentary, The Moaning Of Life in 2013.
While he has a good fan base courtesy of his ventures and active social media presence, it is known how much he makes from his speaking gigs. He is also a social media influencer, which contributes, to his income. More so, he has set up social media accounts for his youngsters Remo and Reemona who are already influencers on Instagram and are set on the road to their financial freedom already.