Given Mkhari is the founder and chief executive officer of MSG Afrika Group, the parent company of Power FM, Capricorn FM, and Quizzical Pictures. He has a net worth of $5.5 million (over R87 million). He founded the media conglomerate in 1998, and since then, he has grown the company to a multi-million rands fortune.
Following his success in the business world, Given Mkhari was honored with The Special Achievement Award at the 2014 Kaelo Awards. As a radio lover, the media magnate kicked off his career at his campus radio station while at the university.
Working his way up the ladder, he has been associated with numerous media and creative firms, where he has taken up management roles. Not only has he served as the director of The Jupiter Drawing Room, but he has moved on to increase his wealth by founding many popular South African radio stations.
What is Given Mkhari’s Age?
Given Mkhari is 43 years old. He was born in Tzaneen, Limpopo Province, north of South Africa, on August 1st, 1979. He also grew up in a large tropical garden town. Mkhari comes from a family of eight. He has five siblings who are yet to be identified and is the eldest. His mother is late, and his father is unknown. He got accustomed to the radio while growing up as there was no TV then.
He eventually became a radio lover, such that when TV became available in his hometown, he had already been glued to the airwaves, which enthralled him. The successful businessman belongs to the Xhosa tribe. He has accomplished so much at a young age, and his business career has made him an influential figure in South Africa and beyond.
In the year 2000, at the age of 21, he co-founded The Communication Firm and then emerged as the independent non-executive director of Dialogue Group Holdings Ltd in his mid-20s.
The Businessman is a Graduate of the University of Limpopo
Upon high school graduation, Given Mkhari was handed a bursary to study at the University of the North (presently known as the University of Limpopo) in 1992. There, he achieved a Bachelor’s degree in History, Psychology, and Philosophy in 1995. After graduating, he landed a scholarship to study Politics and Economics at Bard College, New York.
He bagged the one-year scholarship due to him writing an impressive essay on the developmental trajectory of South Africa. In 1996, Given Mkhari moved to Bard College. While there, he was a member of the African Students Association.
What is Given Mkhari’s Net Worth?
Mkhari has a net worth of $5.5 million (over R87 million). He made his wealth through his diverse works in the media and creative industries. He is one of the most successful media executives in South Africa. The Capricorn FM chief executive is rooted in radio. It was where he began his career before spreading his tentacles across TV production, advertising, event management, and public relations.
Referring to himself as a coward with conviction, Given Mkhari doesn’t generally start something new without being convinced he would make it better and different. This conviction led him to establish Power FM as the first fully black-owned and operated radio station in SA. The decision has paid him out with great wealth as the station now has a massive audience in the country.
The success of Power FM was recognized at Kaelo Awards in 2014 as Given Mkhari was honored with Special Achievement Award. On the other hand, Capricorn FM has equally contributed to Given Mkhari’s huge net worth. In 2008, the radio station won the first commercial broadcast license in Limpopo and drew over 40,000 listeners in three months. Today, it has over 1.5 million listeners.
Despite all the challenges the media magnate has faced in becoming an influential chief executive, he never doubted his ability to make things better and different in the media industry.
His Early Career as a Radio Presenter
The University of Limpopo was the first higher institution to receive a campus radio license in SA. Mkhari began his career in media while on campus. Having a great ardor for radio presenting, he founded the campus radio station – Radio Turf. He believed radio’s big role is to get people informed and not just about playing the latest tunes.
Thus, he worked toward making the campus radio station an information source that bridges the gap between the university and the rest of the country rather than to be entertaining students. He would move to Johannesburg during semester breaks, searching for holiday work. He worked for SAA and the City of Johannesburg Municipality as an intern.
While staying in the city, he became a fan of Metro FM and moved on to participate in the station’s DJ competition. Though he made it to the final, he never won the competition. But the failure didn’t deter him from pursuing his ambitions. While studying at Bard College, he cut a deal with his lecturers to attend classes for two days and then use the remaining days of the week for work.
He had landed an internship at Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, which owned WBLS and LAB radio stations. He first became associated with the WBLS radio station, where he started making coffee for his colleagues. He eventually climbed the ladder to emerge as a producer at the radio station. One of Given Mkhari’s notable works at WBLS is serving as the producer of the popular Les Brown Breakfast Show and Gladys Knight.
Given Mkhari Rose to Prominence at Metro FM
While in New York, Given Mkhari further worked for the LAB radio station and a movie house. This gave him well-needed exposure to the media domain, and the overall experience has been pivotal to his career success. Following the demise of American rapper Tupac Shakur in September 1996, Given reached out to Metro FM, opting to offer them the story.
He then got associated with the media outlet as an international correspondent. Soon after, he became a daily feature on their morning breakfast show, giving entertainment reports. His sign-off remarks, “This is Given Mkhari reporting live from New York; catch you tomorrow same place, same time,” made him very popular with the South African audience.
He additionally gained a reputation among radio executives. Afterward, the media personality returned to the rainbow nation and worked for four years at Metro FM before departing in 2005. Having worked as Metro FM’s international correspondent, Given Mkari must have pocketed huge paychecks.
His salary, however, was kept secret. Given Mkhari subsequently landed another radio presenting gig at then-newly launched Kaya FM. Despite working as a presenter and producer for the radio station, he left the station just after six months.
He later plied his trade in the advertising circuit, purchasing a 51 percent stake in The Jupiter Drawing Room, one of the leading communication and advertising companies in South Africa. Later on December 1st, 2006, Mkhari became an independent non-executive director of Dialogue Group Holdings Ltd and still plays the role to date.
The Birth of Given Mkhari’s MSG Afrika Group and Its Subsidiaries
Given Mkhari launched MSG Afrika Group, a black-owned media and communication group, in 1998. Since then, he has been the chief executive officer. Later in 2002, MSG Afrika Investment Holdings was established. The broadcast, digital, film, entertainment, and communications conglomerate have operations in diverse African markets. The holding company is 100 percent owned by the executive team.
Its portfolio comprises businesses started and operated by the MSG Afrika Group. MSG Afrika Investment Holdings has made strategic investments in established businesses in the past years. Today, it serves as the parent company of MSG Group Sales, Power 98.7 FM, Capricorn FM, Beat FM, The Communications Firm (TCF), and Quizzical Pictures. Now let’s have a look at the operations of its subsidiaries.
Intending to make a difference, Given Mkhari launched Power FM as the first fully black-owned radio station in Gauteng on June 18th, 2013. The commercial talk radio station was licensed by ICASA in December 2011. It is an adult contemporary talk commercial radio station that runs a 24-hour full service.
Power FM is the only commercial radio station with the license to broadcast to the entire Gauteng province. Since its establishment, it has bagged many accolades, including being named the second most influential media platform in business in the analysis conducted by Agenda Setting Media (ASM) commissioned by Media Tenor SA. The radio station also won six awards at the 2017 Liberty Radio Awards.
Though founded in 2007, Capricorn FM started its operations in 2008 after winning the first commercial broadcast license in the Limpopo province. Its operation was funded by a local women’s consortium, and three months after the station went live on air, it attracted 45,000 listeners. Capricorn FM currently boasts over 1.5 million listeners. It is the only commercial radio station located in Limpopo.
The popular radio station broadcasts in English and 30% vernacular, including Sepedi, Tshivenda, and Xitsonga. It is the only radio station in Limpopo to achieve such a feat. As Limpopo’s hottest frequency, Capricorn has a broadcasting format of 70% music and 30% talk shows.
MSG Afrika Group branched into film and television production with Quizzical Pictures. Over the years, the company has produced several of South Africa’s most loved TV series, such as Intersexions, iNumber-Number, Rhythm City, LITHAPO, MTV Shuga, and The Girl from St. Agnes.
As one of the leading film and TV production houses in South Africa, Quizzical Pictures has garnered numerous accolades. They include Rose D’Or for Hopeville, Peabody Award for Intersexions, South African Film and Television Award for Best Children’s Program (Restyle My Style IV), and SAFTA Award for Best TV Drama (Umlilo).
MSG Group Sales and The Communications Firm (TCF)
Media sales house company MSG Group Sales specializes in concept and script development, campaign creative, implementation, campaign recording, and sponsorship concepts. The Communications Firm (TCF) is a branch of MSG Afrika Group, specializing in event management, corporate communication, hospitality, branding, and design services.
Given Mkhari’s Net Worth Compared To His Wife’s, Ipeleng Mkhari
Given and his better half, Ipeleng Mkhari, are one of South Africa’s power couples. While Given is the chief executive of MSG Afrika Group, Ipeleng is the chief executive of Motseng Group. Though her net worth is still under wraps, her conglomerate is said to be worth at least $1.82 million ( R20 million). Her husband’s net worth is estimated at over $5.5 million (over R87 million).
Given Mkhari’s wife is the co-founder of Motseng Investment Holdings – diversified group work investments that span infrastructure investment, property development, telecommunications management, and integrated property and facilities management. In the past years, she has grown her fortune by serving as the MPAMOT Chairperson, SAPOA President, and Delta Property Fund President.
More so, Ipeleng has received multiple leadership awards over the course of her business career, which has lasted for more than 20 years. She is a Bachelor of Social Science degree holder and equally achieved Wits Business School EDP.
Where Is Given Mkhari’s House Located?
Unlike other affluent businessmen, Given Mkhari hardly shows off his wealth. The MSG Afrika Group chief must have invested some of his total wealth in real estate. However, there is a scarcity of information regarding his real estate acquisitions. Nonetheless, he is said to own a luxury home, a bungalow in Randsburg, Gauteng, where he lives with his family. Also, the brands and models of his cars are yet unknown, although he’s believed to have expensive cars in his garage.
Mkhari’s Gender-Based Violence Scandal
On July 15th, 2018, Mr. Mkhari and his wife, Ipeleng, had a domestic brawl, resulting in the two filing assault charges against each other. After deciding to resolve the issue as a family, the power couple withdrew the charges at the Randburg Magistrates Court. Even after they withdrew the charges, the National Prosecuting Authority prosecutor refused to have the case withdrawn as Given and Ipeleng Mkhari sustained severe injuries from the fight.
While Ipeleng had bruises on her body with a bloodied mouth, Given Mkhari was bitten in the nose and lips by his wife as the fight was allegedly caused by a cheating case on the part of Mkhari. However, the charges were provisionally withdrawn by the NPA, but the authority instructed the police to probe into the alleged previous abuse case against Given Mkhari.
The Chairman’s Conversation GBV Saga: Given Mkhari and Cyril Ramaphosa
Given Mkhari normally hosts an annual show titled The Chairman’s Conversation on Power FM. He has hosted the likes of Thabo Mbeki, Johann Rupert, and Dr. Reuel Khoza on the show, which tackles raging issues in the country. In 2019, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa was announced as the guest for that year’s edition of the Chairman’s Conversation. However, Ramaphosa canceled his appointment with Power FM at the last minute.
— Clement Manyathela (@TheRealClementM) November 28, 2019
The president later cited that he considered his decision in light of the concerns shown by civil society organizations―the Soul City Institute and Wise4Afrika against MSG Afrika CEO. The groups stated that his presence on the show would undermine his stance on gender-based violence, which he has been fighting against.
The organizations raised concerns following the domestic violence charges laid against Given Mkhari by his wife in 2018. The Wise Collective accused Mr. Mkhari of blatantly refusing to account for his involvement in gender-based violence. Responding to the last-minute cancellation, Mkhari said that he and his wife have the right to privacy.
The Media Mogul Has Been Involved in Charitable Works
Through MSG Afrika Group’s Capricorn FM, Given Mkhari has carried out some charity works. On many occasions, the radio station has partnered with Tim Tebeila Foundation on charity projects. The foundation focuses on programs that relate to youth and education, as well as rural development and the food system.
One of the founders of @RadioTurf and current MSG group Chairman, @CapricornFM and @Powerfm987 boss Given Mkhari promised to help Radio Turf to have a better working environment. @MkhariGiven visited Radio Turf's oldest studio ever during @ULvarsity 60th Celebration #ULTurns60 pic.twitter.com/rZJcfnsSuA
— Radio Turf 103.8 (@RadioTurf) September 10, 2019
Also, in September 2019, when Mr. Mkhari visited his alma mater, the University of Limpopo, during its 60th anniversary, he promised to give Radio Turf, which he founded as a student, a better working environment.