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From Comandeering The Skies To Business On The Ground | A Conversation With Nigel Sakala: "I Never Had A Plan B, It Had To Work"

Nigel Sakala

'One of the most essential truths to recognize is the fact that the only limits on what we can achieve in life are those we create and place on ourselves. Circumstances are the creation of people and not the other way around.'


The introductory quote sums up the essence of the conversation take away l had with serial Entrepreneur and Logistician, Nigel Sakala. There are some kind of conversations that leave you reinvigorated and energized. This was that kind of conversation. A two hour long network hiccup could not even stop this conversation. During interaction with Mr Sakala, it then sank in how interacting with someone passionate, has a master class effect. The discussion centered around highlighting his passions, goals, life journey and how personal principles married his business journey. With a strong social media following, amassing over 25 000 followers on Instagram, most people know him from his social media handles without a full comprehension of his business portfolio and his philanthropic efforts. His life journey began in Zimbabwe, moved to Europe briefly and eventually settled in South Africa where he is currently residing with his family. 

Nigel Sakala is the 25-year-old pilot-turned-businessman who is making waves in logistics and cyber-security. In his early 20s he  founded SBNT Logistics which focuses on renting out trucks and logistics equipment, there is also BSN Trading, another logistics company that mainly focuses on the transport of goods nationwide and One Response Cyber Security, which caters for many individuals and corporations in Europe and South Africa.


Aviation days/  image credit; IG/ blck_superhero_

He was a pilot for major airline before he started SBNT and BSN Trading, he cited personal growth as the reason why he left aviation to purse logistics. "Business was something I always wanted to do but did not understand at the time. What really pushed me to leave being a pilot was the feeling that; there was more opportunity for personal growth away from that industry and it was in business that I found that opportunity to learn more daily and grow as an individual." When asked about his motivation to get into logistics he unpacked that, "The ability to do what I want with my time. The moment that changed my life, however, was when I got cut off financially by my step mother.  It was at that moment that I learnt that my life rested on my shoulders and that no one else would come to help me. I come from a very dysfunctional family, and it was that moment, when I had plans to go to the United States to further my air schooling that really forced me to fend for myself." Nigel did his aviation studies at Virginia Flight School, he also studied Information Technology simultaneously with a long distance learning institution. Reiterating on the episode of being cut off financially from family, he detailed how his then girlfriend (now wife) was very supportive of his intentions and decisions. He had planned on getting into Uber fleets but was later advised to buy a good second hand truck. That leap of faith marked the beginning of his journey to being a passionate and hands-on logistician. 


Passionate Logistician / image credit; IG/ blck_superhero_


"SBNT is a company that I started with my brother-in-law. I was hoping to go into a venture with him, but after a fallout over consistency I decided to end that business relationship. SBNT focuses on truck rentals. BSN Trading is the second Logistics company, but it focuses mainly on transporting goods and other logistics work. BSN is not only focused on Logistics but also does Construction work, like road works where we have done several projects in different provinces in the country. One Response Cyber Security is a cyber security company that is focused on the new age that we have entered and help companies protect their data from cyber-attacks. The Cyber Security venture is fairly new which teams in Switzerland, London, France and South Africa" explained Sakala about his business portfolio. Asked on his work ethic and dense business portfolio he said, "It is something that came from the understanding that there is no plan B, it had to work. I never had a plan B, it had to work" 

"Time management is very important. I make sure that I focus on the most important activities that are aligned with my goals and make sure that at the end of the day, I achieve my desired results. I am also driven by the belief that I can walk and chew gum at the same time. I heard Jay-Z say this in an interview when I was 16 and it completely changed the way that I viewed myself and how I worked. It is this philosophy that allows me to work on all three of these with minimum effort and maximum results. “You can walk and chew gum at the same time.” "

Inspecting a truck/  image credit; IG/ blck_superhero_

Nigel's strong belief and investment in the youth has seen him doing charity work with institutions such as Treenance Children’s home. His business journey has also been characterized by challenges and setbacks. Some of the setbacks involved being scammed by a truck rental company which did not deliver trucks as per agreement. He further conversed about being disappointed by some of his mentors and being misled into investing into non-existent ventures.  To protect his person and enterprise he has adopted a model of "being mentored from a distance" by absorbing lessons from interviews of successful Entrepreneurs and movies. On mentorship he disclosed that, "I have people I mentor, I am trying to impart the knowledge that you don't have to wait till you have your degree to start working on your goals, you can start now!" 

In regards to the future of his companies, he plans to extend operations into Zimbabwe focusing his efforts in fuel distribution, side tipper work in construction and mines. "Take risks, there is no proper business that is guaranteed success without taking." concluded Mr Sakala as he gave his closing remarks. 


"I never had a plan B, it had to work" /image credit; IG/ blck_superhero_


Nigel Sakala's advice to e the Youth would be:

1. You do not have to wait - too many young people believe that they must wait till a certain age or have a degree to start a business. This is not true; you can always work on something else at the same time as you study or work.
2. Your friendships are very important, they shape who you are and where you end up in life.
3. It is ok to be called broke, uncool, weird and all these other terms that many of them run away from. Young people are young, and they do not need to try and live a life that they cannot maintain to impress others.
4. YouTube is not all funny videos. Many things that we call boring, like learning communication skills or business lingo are the very things that you need to succeed in life.
5. Do not work for money alone. Money is so much sweeter when you make it doing what you love, and this is something that so many people do not understand.

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