Africans Making Global Strides: Nathan Kirsh


Natie+Kirsch+xxxAs we celebrate Africa Month, we take a look at the Africans that have built themselves global success and who better to start with that business tycoon, Nathan Kirsh.

Nathan Kirsh is an 83 year old South African born global investor, arguably Africa’s wealthiest entrepreneur, who left the country in 1986 for Swaziland. He was recently featured in the UK Sunday Times Rich List, making him one of the two South Africans who made it onto the latest list.

When he was just 20 years old, he used to help his mother run the family factory and just 6 years later- he made his first business deal. Although this resulted in him losing some of his fortune a couple of years later, Kirsh was still determined to start over and rebuild a business empire. He acquired his wealth in Africa with a Swaziland corn-milling business in the year 1958. He then moved to New York where he started running USA’s leading wholesale cash and carry, restructuring the business and turning it into the success that it is today.

He recently made headlines when he acquired 29.9% of London-based property developer “Minerva”, this after a failed attempt in 2010. Although property is his main focus, he has a number of businesses in various places. Among other business interests- he has a security company that protects the borders of Buckingham Palace in the UK, he owns a leather company in Argentine, a UK/Swiss asset management company and his main holding group, Kirsh Holdings Groups owns Swazi Plaza Properties.


Kirsh has been described as the kind of entrepreneur who applies his legal knowledge correctly, runs his businesses privately and applies a “hands-on” approach on all of them. He is also considered a philanthropist- his seed fund, “Inhlanyelo” has helped over 5000 small businesses in Swaziland.

He has citizenship in Swaziland and he has residency in the United Kingdom. Although he moved out of South Africa, he still spends most of his summers in the country and has been rumoured to have financed SA political parties.

Nathan Kirsh is a true example of an entrepreneur. Most would give up after losing fortune at your first attempt in business, but he moved on and built an even bigger empire. At the age of 83, he is still making the most out of his life. Talk about a true hustler!