Mr Collen Mashawana is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Afribiz Invest Pty Ltd. He is also the Founder and Chairman of the Board of The Collen Mashawana Foundation which is focused on linking the unemployed youth of South Africa to career opportunities across all sectors.
Collen’s career began at Microsoft South Africa after obtaining a diploma in Information Technology (IT). It is here that he learnt communication and soft skills that would see his career advancing at a fast pace. He joined Dimension Data in 2005 as a senior account executive where in 2008, he received the Esprit du Corp Award for “the best person representing the organisation‘s culture and vision.” In the same year, he was appointed public sector executive at Internet Solutions, a division of Dimension Data. He was promoted to director level within the organisation and held the position of National Public Sector director for South Africa, where he built strong relationships within government and the public sector. During this time he devoted a lot of time in understanding government’s service delivery mandate that resulted in his strategic approach of aligning his business interests and ideas towards having a meaningful contribution towards the economy of the country.
Raised from a business background with humble beginnings, Collen always had an inborn entrepreneurial passion for business which led to an establishment of multiple business ventures including car washes, cleaning services, a restaurant, pay phones and metre taxis. These he ran in parallel with his career in IT which led to his remarkable transition from being in the Corporate to a business icon. With a distinguished career in corporate and business, he served as an Executive and Board Member of multinational companies in the construction, engineering and IT. Some of these companies include Dimension Data, Internet Solutions and Group Five. He began an illustrious career as an entrepreneur which contributed towards building strong relationships within all spheres of the Pan African region. This has resulted in a more strategically focused approach of aligning Collen’s experience and consolidating his businesses into a single holding company being Afribiz Invest, a Pan African Investment Company focusing on Construction, Property, Mining, Energy, ICT, Commodity Trading and Aviation.
Aside from his businesses, Collen is committed to corporate social investment by giving back to the underprivileged, and has been involved in many programmes that aim to empower others. This he does through the Collen Mashawana Foundation which has been involved in creating over 5000 jobs and continues to thrive in changing the lives of ordinary South Africans.