‘I am very rich, but it’s never about the money’

Thompson Dondo
I HAVE to confess. I didn’t know Cassper Nyovest that much, but when I went to South Africa a week ago, he charmed me with his simplicity despite the fact that he is swimming in stinking riches. If only our local artistes could take a leaf or two from him.

“Look, I am rich. Very rich. I actually don’t even know how much I am worth, but I am rich. Just this place where I stay should tell you how rich I am, but it’s never about the money,” Cassper told me as we had dinner at his luxurious house. He was responding to my question why he was charging me a lot of money. Earlier on we had spoken about our humble beginnings in business and so I was saying to him, “Why is someone with such humble beginnings charging so much?”

Just looking around, you could see he was not joking or lying. The house is just too imposing and the furniture looks like it’s from another planet.

“It’s never about the money my brother. I can make twice that money here in South Africa but I want to come to Zimbabwe for the experience and to give a treat to my Zimbabwean fans,” he said.

I was in South Africa to finalise the deal to bring Cassper to perform at the Impala at 10 Music Concert set for September  16 at the Glamis Arena in Harare. Like I said, earlier on, I didn’t know Cassper that much. The idea of bringing him came from my son Ngoni, who said Cassper’s fans today will be Impala’s clients in the next 10 years so “let’s catch them young”.

I had flown to South Africa to put final touches to the deal because everything with his manager was flowing just too smooth. It seemed too easy to be true. So I flew to South Africa and told the manager that I wanted to see Cassper. Without any hassles and strings attached, I was invited for dinner at Cassper’s house.

After waiting for Cassper for about 20 minutes because he was taking a bath, he came down and welcomed us as if we had known each other for years. “Feel free gentlemen. Serve yourself some food,” he said looking so relaxed. The dinner itself was a statement. It comprised Shropshire beef with home-made Panang curry paste and was served with creamy mash and cabbage. Dessert was apple and mixed berry crumble with custard ice cream.

It was around 6:30pm and as we sat down to eat, Cassper told me that he was supposed to go to the airport at 9pm because he was supposed to fly to America for a tour. As we ate, we spoke about a lot of issues. He told me about his humble beginnings and I did the same.

When I told him my story, he was impressed. He then invited me to be part of his December 2, “Fill Up FNB Stadium” show that he is planning. I knew that Cassper had held the “Fill Up the Dome”, and indeed he filled up the doom.

When I asked him whether he could fill the FNB Stadium, he just laughed and that told me that he meant business. I had no reason to doubt him. On October 31, 2015 about 20 000 fans packed the Dome in Johannesburg to watch Cassper do what he knows best.

So on September 19, I will be in South Africa to seal that deal. What makes the deal even more enticing is that Impala Car Rentals now has a branch in South Africa with a fleet of about 252 vehicles. This deal will open many opportunities but that’s a story for another good day.

After dinner, we drove Cassper to the airport and it was at the airport that I realised how big he is. When people saw him at the airport, in no time a crowd had gathered calling his name. I was taken aback. What impressed me is that he had time for his fans and he spoke with them casually. The man is big but remains very humble.

This big man who wants to “Fill Up FNB Stadium,” is coming to Zimbabwe and has promised his fans a memorable show. “Hey, what’s up! What’s up! This is Cassper Nyovest shout out! Shout out to Zimbabwe! I am coming out there. On the 15th of September I am gonna be in Bulawayo and on the 16th we are in Harare at the Glamis Arena for the Impala 10 years celebrations. Congratulations to Impala on a great 10 years! Tinotenda!”

We are celebrating 10 years in the industry. So we are saying let’s celebrate because over the last 10 years, many companies folded due to several reasons. As Impala Car Rentals we have managed to soldier on doing what we know best. We went through a lot of difficult and challenging times.

We want to accommodate everybody. So next Saturday, we will start with road shows and later in the morning going into the afternoon, people will be treated to sungura music at the Glamis Arena. We have 10 sungura artistes who will entertain people from 10 am to 7pm.

There will be Alick Macheso, Suluman Chimbetu, Lucky Kunene, Pinjisi, Sam Dondo, Peter Moyo, Gift Amuli, Somanja Ndebele and Andy Muridzo. Everything on this day will be about 10. There will be 10 televisions, 10 laptops, 10 bicycles, 10 holidays and so on to be won.

Then in the evening there will be Freeman, Soul Jah Love, Winky D, several DJs, Jah Prayzah and Cassper Nyovest. As you can see, we want to make this day a big day. This is not going to be an ordinary day. It’s going to be memorable. We believe that when you do something, do it properly as we do at Impala.

This approach and our consistency will take Impala to another level. We are dreaming big. In the next 10 years, Impala will be in most countries in Southern Africa. Next year we will be in Zambia. We are growing faster than we thought.

But like I always tell my team at Impala, “Takapenga as a team. Everyone is important.”

Let’s get ready for a show of a lifetime. We work hard, let’s play hard!

Thompson Dondo is the founder of Impala Car Rental. He wrote this article for The Sunday Mail Society.

 

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