Look at me, I’m rich!


They’re young, rich and successful and flaunt their wealth. Big money, bags of bling and an invitation to every major social event are part of the lifestyles of the new breed of SA’s millionaires.

They drive fancy cars and wear designer labels and sunglasses (even at night). They’re constantly shadowed by bodyguards and admirers.

They’re the new rich  who are unapologetic about their wealth and luxurious lifestyles.

At every bling-laden function the message is the same: I’m rich, I’m successful, I’m popular – and I’m in your face. Since 1994 there’s been a steady rise in the number of of black millionaires who’ve benefited from lucrative BEE deals, government tenders or their own entrepreneurial efforts.

SA ranks fourth among countries with the fastest-growing dollar-millionaire populations, behind South Korea, India and Russia. The 2006 World Wealth Report says more than half of Africa’s 83 000 dollar millionaires – with a combined fortune of $800 billion (R6 trillion) – are based in SA.

At the recent opening of controversial playboy Kenny Kunene’s ZAR club in Cape Town many young beauties were spotted on the arms of older men.

‘‘I love him because he buys my hair,’’ a 19-year-old from a Cape Town township said. Her ‘‘sugar daddy’’, who’d paid for her expensive Brazilian weave, is a BEE bigwig.

Well-connected people say young women attend high-profile events to snag wealthy men.

‘‘It’s mainly politicians they home in on,’’ she says. ‘‘They go back to his hotel and the next day they’re taken on shopping trips, to spas, you name it.’’

‘‘It’s not prostitution,’’ 20-year-old model Leigh, who attended the ZAR party, insists. ‘‘It’s about mutual benefit.’’

* Read the full article in the 24 February 2011 issue of YOU.

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