September 10th 2020

Walking away is not the answer.

MCI Livetalk with Herman Mashaba, Entrepreneur, Mayor of Johannesburg 2016 - 2019


Herman Mashaba (right) in conversation with MCI-Rektor Andreas Altmann. Foto:MCI
Herman Mashaba (right) in conversation with MCI-Rektor Andreas Altmann. Foto:MCI

Herman Mashaba is considered a cult figure in South Africa. Raised in extreme poverty during apartheid, Herman Mashaba created the hair care empire "Black like Me". In August 2020 he founded the new party "ACTIONSA" with the goal of saving South Africa from economic and social ruin.

Growing up without parental supervision, his grandfather played a crucial role in his upbringing. “His expectations where often very unreasonable and he always pushed me to be successful and independent”. Don’t allow yourself to be controlled by other people, always be yourself," his grandfather kept telling him.

This attitude left a lasting impression on Herman Mashaba. After a short stop at the university, which he dropped out of after a failed student protest, and a failed military training in the Soviet Union, Mashaba tried his luck first as a salesman and then as an entrepreneur.

An undertaking that proved difficult at first, considering that black South Africans were not allowed to start a business during apartheid. But as his grandfather taught him, Mashaba did not let himself be told how to live his life. With the help of his wife and business partners, he built a successful hair care empire in South Africa.

But for Mashaba, economic success was not enough. „Us privileged South Africans feel like we can’t sit back and run away from the problems this country is facing. We know it is not only about money but also about our responsibility. I feel like I am obliged to make a difference in our country”.

Since December 2019 Mashaba wants to achieve this change through his movement 'The People's Dialogue' and now also with the help of his newly founded political party "ACTIONSA". Mashaba’s motivation is his serious concern about the effects of the precarious education system, the prevailing police violence and the massive corruption within the government. However, although living conditions in South Africa are critical, 58 million of entitled voters in South Africa renounce their right to vote. Mashaba wants to break through this lack of motivation. "Many South Africans are still trapped in this feeling of oppression of apartheid and believe they have no power to change anything. I want to teach people that running away is not the answer and that they can break through corruption in this country by voting".

His political goal is to stop South Africa's economic, social and political collapse and not to end up like Zimbabwe. With the help of his party's core values of non-racialism, economic prosperity, social justice, rule of law, electoral reform, quality education and ethical leadership he firmly believes in steering his country in a positive direction instead of running away from the current problems.

pdfPresentation Herman Mashaba_Walking away is not an option

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