I flunked Grade 7, dropped out of school and still made millions – Sakupwanya
Controversial gold runner Scott Sakupwanya had government dignitaries eating from his palm on Saturday when he celebrated his 44th birthday at the Meikles Hotel in Harare.
Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri attended as the guest of honour, while other notable dignitaries such as Youth Minister Tino Machakaire, businessman Shingi Mutasa, Zodwa Mkandla and her Rich Cousins, were in attendance.
The Zanu PF benefactor described how he dropped out of school at Form 2 before forming Better Brands that went on to become largest gold buyers in Zimbabwe.
He did not disclose the source of capital that formed Better Brands.
“I’m not saying I didn’t try, I always put in a lot of effort to get better grades, but it just didn’t work out for me,” said the Zanu PF councillor for Mabvuku-Tafara.
“There were two guys in my class during my primary school years whom I would check which number they had finished at during the examinations. Those were the two guys that I knew would never be better than me so if they were number 39 and 40, I knew I was number 38.
“The Grade 7 exams came and I had like eight units in each subject and I told my father that I was quitting school. He was mad about it because he wanted me to get an education.”
He revealed that he had to relocate to his rural areas and go back to Grade Six and there was a slight improvement in his Grade 7 results, but he still failed the test.
He gave up when he was in Form 2.
“I started doing jobs like washing motorbikes at Donnybrook, but even during that time I had a dream to be someone who would be successful.
“If there is a gift I was given by God then it’s about the ability to learn from others and then use my skills to try and come up with something better. I started Better Brands and we became the largest gold buyers in the country.
“I then copied my friend Bucks (Brighton Bako) and started a borehole drilling company and we won a tender to drill boreholes worth millions of dollars.
“We have bought trucks for Better Brands Petroleum for the borehole company and they are coming. I formed Better Brands Construction and we started with 40 builders and we are building cluster houses and our target is that by the end of the year we would have built 150 cluster houses.
“We all have different gifts and we need to work hard, using our different gifts, for the betterment of our country and we should always remember to thank God for these gifts.
“There is no need for us to be jealousy of each other or to look down on someone because tomorrow you might need help from the person you thought was a nobody.
Sakupwanya said he was unapologetic about his ZANU-PF links and wanted to represent the ruling party in parliament.
Sakupwanya’s Betterbrands Mining Company has previously been accused of illegally snatching gold mining blocks in Penhalonga.
In February Sakupwanya’s gold operations at Redwing Mine in Penhalonga, Manicaland province, were forced to shut down by the Environmental Management Agency (Ema) following reports of numerous fatal accidents involving artisanal miners.