BUSINESS & CAREER IN AFRICA, INTERVIEWS

Interview: Tumelo Israel Sealetsa – Founder & President at Boswa Energy | Hertford Trading Enterprises (Botswana | South Africa)

tumelo-israel

Today at Success in Business & Career (SBC) we speak to Mr Tumelo Israel Sealetsa – an entrepreneur and kingdom addict.

Interviewer: Wilbert R. Mutoko [Personal Finance Coach, Author, Life Coach, Business Mentor, Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer, Educator, Pastor, Marriage/Relationship Counsellor and Blogger].

Part One

(SBC) Tumelo, welcome and thank you for spending time with us at Success in Business & Career.

Wow! Thank you. It’s an honor.

(SBC) Can you start by giving our followers a brief background of yourself, your experience, education and current career status?

My name is Tumelo Sealetsa, originally from Kanye, Botswana from Batetebejana ward; raised by a single parent who raised me well. I started business when I was 22 years old and I’ve never worked for a salary till today and next year I’ll be 10 years in business. I’m planning to finish my academic degrees next year. I am currently the Chairman of Intentional Investments Group of Companies (Boswa Energy, Boswa Engineering, Boswa Capital etc.) and Director of Hertford Trading Enterprises in South Africa. We will be expanding to Namibia very soon.

(SBC) Wow, that’s so insightful.  What is your favorite meal and drink?

Fried rice, fish and a grape juice

(SBC) What is your motto and what drives you?

The future belongs to those who refuse to give up during difficult times; no matter how many troubles, challenges, pain and mistakes. I always believe that that the best is yet to come, no matter what I’m going through now. The future that I’ve seen keeps me going. I’ve seen a great and bright future. Let me tell you, “If you find it hard to find a way, create your own way. The world is big in such a way that it can accommodate all of us. Wake up and claim your place.”

(SBC) Is there a set of values that you live by?

Integrity. Growing up in business, we learn, we fall and we get up. If there is something that I’ve learnt that I believe is the pillar of success is honesty to yourself and the people around you/partners. Through my mistakes I’ve learnt that integrity is the strongest foundation and there are no short cuts in life. Perseverance pays at the end.

(SBC) People talk much about need for mentorship. What is your take on that? And who are your mentors?

Mentorship is very important, I always tell my mentees that most of my mistakes in life were not because I didn’t have mentors; but my inability to implement what I was taught by my mentors. Mentorship saves you from pain and sorrow. I can see ahead because of the people who have gone ahead of me. My business life changed two years ago in South Africa after I met with my business mentor His Excellency Dr Alex Tsela, a very busy man. But he will always create time for me. I have bought his books and most of his teachings. I joined his billionaire club. My humble mentor. I treasure my relationship with him so much. My other mentors are Prophet B. Ramogapi, Former President of Botswana Sir Ketumile Masire, Apostle Donald Motsumi and Mr Strive Masiyiwa, whom I’m following and I hope to meet soon.

(SBC) That’s fantastic Tumelo! Wow! What about your wake up time and sleep time? How many hours do you normally sleep and why?

Lately I’ve been telling my loved ones, “I DON’T HAVE TIME TO WASTE.” Too much sleep destroys destiny. I normally sleep for 4 hours – 6 hours. By 5am I’m supposed to be up for my meditations (I’m a thinker), daily devotions, and drop the kids to school and then off to the office.

(SBC) Wow! That is so inspiring. Would you like to tell us anything about family?

I’m a family man that is how I was wired. I believe in a family institution. Most of the sacrifices I made and I’m making now, it’s for the well-being of my family tomorrow. My daughters are my inspiration. Every time I look at them, they give me the drive to work hard and to be profitable in life. I always tell my mentees that family and business are so closely connected.

Before you start a family, as a young entrepreneur, take your time to find a partner who you are in agreement with. A partner that values the path that you take, who understand your path. A partner that will stand with you through it all because this journey is not as easy as you think. You need a strong, supportive, selfless and prayerful partner or a strong family behind you. Family is the pillar of business. Your family can launch you up or drag you down. The issue of family in business is important. We should not take it for granted. However, in case you have messed up in the past, God is faithful to perfect your life where you missed it.

(SBC) WOW! Mr Sealetsa, this is amazing so far. Now, to get where you are there is a story, how did it all start? Tell us more about your journey in Christianity and in business.

It all started 10 years ago after I got born again in Winners Chapel Gaborone, under the leadership of Pastor Korede Komaiya. That man would teach us about Entrepreneurship and the seed was planted while I was busy serving the Lord, at the age of 22 years. I started and registered a company and I was young at that time. The journey was rough. I never had a start-up capital, no bank account; which means I could not even get a loan. Thus, when I started business, many people took advantage of me because I was ignorant and inexperienced.

It was hard when I started. I grew up as a multi-gifted young man. I could preach the Gospel well; hence along the way I confused business acumen and ministry gifting. Furthermore, along the way I met wrong people and wrong counsel. This made it difficult to discover what God had wired me to become and this brought too much confusion in my life. It took me years to discover my differences and purpose. Thank God, right now my purpose is so clear like water in a glass.

(SBC) Israel, did you have any life-changing experiences that put you on the path that led you to, what you’re doing today?

It was in 2014 when I moved to South Africa. Oh man that was the best decision ever! God worked on me and so many things were revealed about my life. South Africa is where I met my mentor Dr Alex Tsela. Not that I’m already there, but I believe I’m a better businessman now compared to my first 8 years in business.

(SBC) Apart from business, what else do you do Mr Sealetsa?

 Motivational speaking

 (SBC) Where do we see Tumelo Israel Sealetsa in the next 5 to 10 years?

Wow! The future is so bright. I see myself influencing nations and leaders positively around the world.

(SBC) They say ‘iron sharpen iron.’ Did you have any remarkable mentors or advisors who boosted you to where you are today, what you believe in and what you are committed to in your work and life? Share with our followers about it.

Yes, I had men who stood with me. I thank God for their lives and for their support. These men stood with me during difficult times. They invested their lives and resources for my success. I’ve got a list of them and I owe them life. Most of my business advisors came into my life as divine helpers, and I will forever treasure them.

(SBC) Wow Tumelo! That is a mouthful! Where can our followers find your products?

Please let them visit our website: www.hertfordtrading.co.za

(SBC) Tumelo, what is your take on the current status of leadership and entrepreneurship in Botswana and in Africa?

We are blessed. I thank God for our loving President His Excellency the President, Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama and his current leadership. Botswana truly is moving forward. We have one of the best leadership team and we are learning a lot from them. I believe currently we need to implement more of our national plans, talk less and minimize corruption for the growth of Botswana and Africa. My vision in the next 5 years from now is to build a Leadership Academy Facility in Gaborone with the help of our government so that we can train African Politicians, mostly young aspiring politicians. One of the things we are lacking in Africa is succession plans. We don’t groom leaders; we vote for those who can insult well or we vote for the party, which is not a bad thing; but before we vote let’s look for leadership qualities in the potential leader first.

The problem in Africa is of lack of trained and seasoned leadership. Africa will rise if we can focus on building leaders of tomorrow. I’ve realized that there are only few leaders who are willing to model good leadership for the next generation, and I believe our generation must start to preserve the future and the legacy of Botswana and Africa. We thank God for the old generation and we need their support and guidance; but the time is now to groom our next coming leaders. Africa needs to trust the young people with high positions; only to train them for the next generation. I believe that’s the only way to keep the legacy growing and moving forward.

(SBC) Ummmm! Quiet touching!

YES…

(SBC) Let’s talk about Tumelo the man! Give us a bit of your social and family life.

‘Owai’..!! I’m full of love, hope and laughter. I’m a man of destiny, I love God and I cherish my family.

(SBC) That’s so good to hear. What is the craziest thing you’d like to achieve/attain?

CRAZY! Hahahaha!! To be part of the United Nations Leadership.

Part Two

(SBC) What is the worst experience you have gone through in life and in ministry and what lessons have you drawn from it?

I’ve gone through a lot. I’ve lost a lot of things. I’ve gone through hell, tears, pain, brokenness, disappointments; mistakes and betrayals, threats, blackmail, and accusations. But I’m still standing. Through it all I’ve learnt that “the truth will set you free.” So choose to stand for the truth. No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of anyone who isn’t trying to do anything.

(SBC) If you could spend time with someone who has attained the kind of success you are looking to reach, what questions would you ask them?

  1. What made you to be where you are now?
  2. How did you know you will make it?
  3. Why didn’t you give up during difficult times?
  4. What’s your secret to Business success?

(SBC) What social/economic cause(s) do you support/advocate for?

I believe in SELF RELIANCE. Nowadays our young people have lost it. The Botswana government, for instance, pays your school fees from primary level to tertiary level and at the same time you expect the government to create jobs for you! NO. NO!! I believe as a young Motswana, you are blessed, with all the government programs and support. By this time we should be creating jobs for our sisters and brothers instead of blaming systems and structures. We need the creativity of creating jobs. Let’s do it guys we can do it. Let’s stop the blame game and take responsibility. Sir Ketumile Masire our Former President of Botswana, once said “Don’t be concerned about what your country can do for you, but instead be concerned about what you can do for your Country.” Let’s build our nation. We are national builders.

(SBC) Words of wisdom right there. Mr Sealetsa, if you weren’t doing what you are doing now, what would be your occupation?

An architect. I love construction.

(SBC) How many people do you work with?

About 7 people in Botswana and South Africa.

(SBC) How do you manage doing ministry and business at the same time? What challenges do you face in this regard?

Priorities. Business is me; it’s my occupation. Business is my zone of excellence and success. Furthermore, most of the time my preaching and empowering ministry is strictly via invitations so it helps me most of the time to focus on my business life. The only challenges for people like us is that we struggle with balancing our lives. We share our time with our businesses (projects), ministry, family, friends and relatives. Nevertheless, I’m really trying to bring balance into my life.

(SBC) How did you recruit your team and what challenges do you face when leading your team?

Most of my team in South Africa and Botswana is divinely arranged. I have the best team ever.

(SBC) How do you solve leadership challenges among your team members?

My team members know my values and they always try to follow them. Thus, it makes the job easier for me.

(SBC) Most entrepreneurs struggle with financing (start-up capital and working capital). How is your experience?

That’s the difficult part of business. I’ve discovered that as a Christian businessman, your giving life determines what comes into your hand. Heaven is your bank and heaven is able to fund you. Grace is able to bring the right people into your life who will help you.

(SBC) How do you network in order to increase your contacts?

I depend on God and I travel a lot.

(SBC) Many entrepreneurs struggle with marketing and selling their work. How do you do it?

I believe in networking. Sometimes you need you to knock on those closed doors and network.

(SBC) Any advice to entrepreneurs and young leaders who want to grow?

Discover your difference in life and make it happen.

(SBC) When you are long gone, what would you like to be remembered for?

THE POWER OF PERSEVERANCE AND MERCY

 (SBC) Any last words to our followers in general?

Make right decisions in life. Decisions determine destiny. Take your time and be careful of excitement. Make right decisions. Look for tried and tested mentors that you can learn from. One wrong decision can cost you your life, money, relationships and your relationship with God. Therefore, make right decisions.

(SBC) You have operations in Botswana and South Africa. Tell us your experience. What are the differences between the two countries and how can one position themselves for success in both markets?

The difference is only on the issues of markets and developments. South Africa has a population of 55 million people and it’s more developed than Botswana. Also, most of the time investors prefer South Africa than Botswana. However, Botswana is an emerging economy; reputable for being peaceful and politically stable. So the combination of both countries makes my job easier. The differences of the two nations is a blessing to me.

(SBC) Thank you so much Mr Tumelo Israel Sealetsa for taking time off your demanding schedule. We appreciate and value your useful advice.

Thank you and God bless you.

Mr Tumelo Israel Sealetsa Links:

Profiles;

Product links:

www.hertfordtrading.co.za

 

 

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