Sello Rasethaba Biography and Early Life
Born on February 19, 1958, in Musina, Limpopo, South Africa, Sello Mashao Rasethaba emerged from humble beginnings to become a prominent figure in the realms of business and politics. Raised in a family of six siblings, with a father who was both a teacher and trade unionist, Sello’s upbringing was shaped by a blend of academic excellence, athletic prowess, and early involvement in student politics.
Education and Political Activism: Sello attended Setotolwane High School, where he not only excelled academically and in sports but also became actively engaged in student politics. Inspired by the ideas of Steve Biko, the leader of the black consciousness movement, Sello joined the South African Students’ Organisation (SASO), advocating against the apartheid regime. His passion for social transformation, however, led to his arrest and detention without trial, experiencing incarceration alongside notable figures like Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu.
Academic Pursuits and International Exposure: Despite facing challenges due to his political involvement, Sello’s pursuit of knowledge persisted. After his release, he enrolled at the University of the North but later ventured to the United States in 1982, courtesy of a scholarship from the American Friends Service Committee. He studied at the University of Northern Iowa, earning a BA with a major in accounting and a minor in German.
His academic journey extended to the UK, where he obtained a master’s degree in philosophy (accounting) from the University of Hull in 1987. Sello’s time abroad not only enriched his academic repertoire but also fueled his involvement in community initiatives, co-founding the Black Resource Centre in Manchester.
Career Path: Sello’s professional journey traversed continents and diverse industries. From roles at IBM and E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company in the US to contributing to the chemical giant DuPont’s global business strategy, he garnered experience in information technology and financial analysis. Upon returning to South Africa in 1990, Sello joined Coopers & Lybrand, subsequently moving to Ernst & Young, where he became a regional director in the management consulting services division.
In 1999, he founded The Lobbying Corporation of South Africa, offering strategic advice and advocacy services to clients in the public and private sectors. Sello’s commitment to transformation and development extended to his role as an executive director at Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), contributing to the establishment and growth of the MSC Foundation.
His extensive career also includes leadership roles at Xpanse Investments, OrlyFunt Holdings, and Ayo Technology Solutions. Additionally, Sello remains active in organizations such as the Black Business Council, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, and the Steve Biko Foundation.
Personal Life: Sello is a family man, married to Orly, founder, and director of OrlyFunt Holdings, with whom he shares four children. Fluent in multiple languages and a supporter of Kaizer Chiefs, a renowned South African soccer club, he is also a devoted Christian actively engaged in church activities at Rhema Bible Church.
Net Worth and Philanthropy: As one of South Africa’s wealthiest and most influential individuals, Sello Rasethaba boasts a net worth exceeding R1 billion, according to Forbes Africa. Beyond financial success, his impact is evident in philanthropy, particularly in education, health, and environmental causes. Recognized among the top 100 most influential Africans in 2022 by New African magazine, Sello continues to leave an indelible mark on the landscape of business, politics, and social change in South Africa and beyond.