Herman Mashaba

Herman Mashaba - South African Black Entrepreneur

Herman Samtseu Philip Mashaba

Founder of Black Like Me Limited, CEO of Leswikeng Minerals & Energy Limited.

At a Glance

Born: 26 August 1959 (Age 52)

Source of Wealth:

Residence: Johannesburg

Country of Citizenship: South Africa

Education: 18 months of Bachelor of Commerce: Business Administration,

                   University of North

Marital Status: Married, 2 children


Herman Mashaba is a veteran South African Entrepreneur who started his business activities during the harsh apartheid landscape and policies that once gripped this wonderful country. He came from humble beginnings to become one of South Africa’s wealthiest and best-known entrepreneurs. His remarkable story begins in a small village of Hammanskraal in Gauteng. He refused to settle for a future that offered nothing. Forced to drop out of university, the determined young man fought to establish the first black-owned haircare company in South Africa. Mashaba struggled every day of his life – against apartheid, with its demeaning laws, and against his competitors to grab market share for his business. In the process, Mashaba learnt lessons that few business schools teach today.


Starting out as a travelling crockery salesman – but whose market was limited by the Group Areas Act – Herman Mashaba saw a gap and created Black Like Me, the only black haircare company in the country.

Launched on Valentine’s Day in 1985 in Ga-Rankuwa, the brand played its own small role in the country’s revolution – the name resonating with the Black Consciousness movement – and inspired thousands of people to open their own salons. In three decades, Mashaba has steered it into a multinational corporation, expanding throughout Africa and exporting to Europe and beyond.

He never let anything get him down; when his factory was torched by arsonists in 1993, he was back in business two weeks later. Mashaba started out making the products at night and selling them by day; now he’s one of Africa’s most celebrated entrepreneurs, with investments in around 20 companies; he’s an under-theradar patron of development programmes and chairman of the Free Market Foundation.

A hard-core capitalist, he says SA’s high unemployment rate keeps him awake at night, and that affirmative action, labour laws and government grants aren’t doing us any favours … thought-provoking words from one of SA’s few black billionaires who did not ‘make it’ with the blessing of BEE.



2008 – present


2008 – present


Independent Non-Executive Director | Edcon Holdings (Proprietary) Limited
2006 – present


Non-Executive Director | Metboard Properties Limited
2004 – present


Chief Executive Officer and Founder | Leswikeng Minerals & Energy (Pty) Limited
2002 – present


Chairman | Consolidated Power Projects (Pty) Limited
2002 – present


Non Executive Director | Black Like Me (Pty) Limited


Non-Executive Director | Business Development | Aerosud Holdings (Pty) Limited 

Non-Executive Chairman | Buildingworks Group Limited 


Chairman | Stocks Building Africa (Pty) Limited





Director | Consolidated Infrastructure Group Limited
2007 – 2010


Founder & Chief Executive Officer | Black Like Me (Pty) Limited
Johannesburg | 1985 – 2004


Pretoria, South Africa | 1980 – 1981


Chief Executive Officer | Black Like Me (Pty) Limited


Non-Executive Chairman | Consolidated Infrastructure Group Limited


Non-Executive Director | SEA KAY HOLDINGS LTD




University of North

18 months of Bachelor of Commerce: Business Administration



Honorary Award by UNISA for Outstanding Entrepreneur and Leader in the Business Environment | 2005

Award for Entrepreneurial Leadership by Henley Management College | 2003

SABC/Tribute Achievers Award | 2001

Marketing Person of the Year by the Institute of Marketing Management | 1994

New Nation/Engen Businessman of the Year | 1994



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