HARARE – Charismatic preacher and leader of Spirit Embassy Church Prophet Uebert Angel, has become only the second Zimbabwean to have the story of his life and entrepreneurship published by world acclaimed publication, Forbes Magazine.
The first was business mogul, Strive Masiyiwa. The story probes Angel’s source of wealth, how he became a millionaire and his business interests abroad.
While, the story does not quote him directly, Forbes Magazine went around the world investigating his source of wealth.
The following is the full unedited Forbes Magazine story:
The BBC calls him young and charismatic. Uebert Angel is an enigma who has private audiences with heads of state, parliamentarians, philanthropists, billionaires and once the late world icon, Nelson Mandela.
Business analysts have argued that his unlimited access to world leaders and leading businessmen has given Angel an advantage over his peers in the real estate business.
Regardless of this, Angel, after close investigation, is one of the thousands of successful entrepreneurs across Africa who are creating million-dollar fortunes. These entrepreneurs do not inherit wealth; they earn it.
The prophet, a former finance lecturer and financier by profession, has two degrees from the Salford University in Britain. He has business experience and qualifications.
He also obtained a postgraduate degree at Bolton in Manchester and has a pending Masters’ degree in applied philosophy from the University of Wales in Cardiff.
His eye for the finer things in life facilitated his business acumen. In 2005, Angel established Club Millionaire, a concierge establishment providing services to the cash-rich but time-poor individuals around the globe.
Angel timed the launch of his business well. He set up his company long before the concierge boom flooded the industry in 2102 to secure his fortune. He then ventured into real estate, starting with residential and then moving into developing commercial properties.
His real estate construction companies traded under various holdings and trusts in Europe, Africa and Asia.
He then forayed into building a noteworthy media empire, with secular and lifestyle television channels and a Christian charitable record label that owns the rights to the music of multi-award winning artists like Sonnie Badu.
Aside from Africa, some of Angel’s companies are registered in Europe and Hong Kong. Hong Kong is favourable due to investments not being taxed in the region.
The corporate profits rate is 16,5 percent, there is no capital gains tax and no accumulated earnings taxes on companies that retain earnings rather than distribute them.
Angel is reputed to have such a keen business sense and entrepreneurial skill that he is able to start small companies and grow them. He then sells them and invests the money in real estate and other projects.
In February, he bought Great Hampton Limited in Britain, a company with 30 000 square feet of choice real estate as its chief asset.
The structure, which is close to the Birmingham University School of Law, is said to be valued at around $2 million and will be worth more after the renovations and improvements he is putting in place.
The Zimbabwe-born British national, who is also the bestselling author of Healing is Easy and a sought-after conference speaker, was voted the most influential Zimbabwean last year and won the Newsmaker Award in the same year.
He is also a Peace Ambassadorial Award recipient.
His fame is huge and his contacts impressive. He has presidents and the rich in his speed dial.
There is a lot more to Angel than just business. He is a strong believer in the Giving Pledge initiative, founded by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, which encourages wealthy people to donate at least half of their money to charity.
The Giving Pledge has so far persuaded more than a hundred billionaires to give the majority of their wealth to charities. South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe is on that list.
While Angel is not in their league, he has engaged in philanthropic endeavours which have not gone unnoticed.
Last year, after a donation of $1,4 million was given to him by friends and well-wishers for his birthday, he donated all of it to charity.
Using his own resources, Angel is also building houses for the poor and helping parents pay school fees in what he and his wife, Beverly, the patron of Hand of Mercy (Home) have called Adopt a School-Adopt A Child programme. Hand of Mercy intends to help at least 100 000 people by 2017, a feat he says is possible if they concentrate on community development rather than individuals.
While Angel has a lot of business interests, there is another side to him that has attracted the world’s attention.
He is a staunch believer in Christ and claims to have the gift of prophecy. Some argue that his businesses and his contacts have grown primarily because of this.
Others stress that he is the darling of the masses because he helps the less-fortunate. Angel returned to Africa from Britain while his business empire was at its peak, to help develop the continent.
Such is his influence in Africa that when he moved back to Zimbabwe, the Christian organisation he started, Spirit Embassy grew from 12 to 5 000 people in four weeks and is now approaching the 10 000 mark.
His business adventures have slowed down since the media latched onto his uncanny ability to predict events.
He has given accurate prophecies about the deaths of Michael Jackson and former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, the Kenya Mall massacre among many world events.
His predictions include the date and time, even a year before they occur, putting him on the forefront of the prophetic movement in southern Africa.
Last year, media reports claimed Angel was worth $60 million, a figure he denies. His wife backs him up on this subject.
Beverly, a former finance lecturer, exudes humility. She is intelligent, but an individual of few words. When asked about her husband, she will only talk about their charitable initiatives.
“Whatever you find or see is already committed to our very own giving pledge initiative, so, come to think of it, what do we really own if it is all for philanthropy. Zero is the answer!”
Angel’s success is clear but there is still a lot about him that is shrouded in mystery. — Forbes Africa