Updated 21.06.2023

10 Most Successful Forex Traders in South Africa

Forex trading has made several people rich, including the Forex traders on this list. They came from diverse backgrounds to make it to the top of the hill. Their stories and backgrounds will inspire and motivate you to go for your dreams and play the long-term game when trading Forex.

Forex traders in South Africa
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George Van Der Riet

George Van Der Riet grew up in Cape Town for most of his childhood. Then, he left the country for Britain to study at the Alliance Manchester Business School. He worked there, for some time, as a Forex trader with banks and in different capacities with international financial institutions. These jobs gave him the knowledge and experience in Forex trading to make him one of the most successful Forex traders in the country.

However, his time in Britain was not completely pleasant. Towards the end of his stay, he was sentenced to 6 years in prison for possession with intent to supply and manslaughter. In his defence of the previous charge for the manslaughter crime, he told the court that he had acted in self-defence. Nevertheless, he pleaded guilty to both crimes and ended up serving two years in prison.

Van Der Riet came back to South Africa in 2010 and started with personal Forex trading. He used his experience as a Forex trader working for several banks and international institutions to grow his account. Around the time, while he was setting himself up as a trader, he took Sandile Shezi (also on the list) under his mentorship.

Later, the two established the Global Forex Institute, a Forex trading and teaching company. Sandile Shezi would later become one of the most successful Forex traders and youngest millionaires in the country. Global Forex Institute has since won the African Forex Cup several years in a row under the stewardship of George Van Der Riet.

Forex traders in South Africa - George Van Der Riet
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Ref Wayne

Refiloe Nkele, popularly known as Ref Wayne, was born in Soweto’s Meadowlands. He is a brilliant and hard-working trader who makes a perfect role model for any aspiring young trader. He first encountered forex trading while in High school and immediately developed an interest in it. This newfound passion led him to drop out in the 9th grade to follow his dreams.

After dropping out, Ref made a living distributing SIM Cards. During this time, he met his mentor, Mr David Schwartz. Mr Schwartz introduced Ref to Forex trading. Years to come, Ref would make his first million from Forex trading at the age of 19 years after dedicating a lot of time to studying Forex.

Ref Wayne started the African Foreign Exchange Institute in 2014 to help people with limited opportunities get rich through Forex trading. He first-authored The Art of Trading Refined, which has sold quite well, and later on co-authored Top-Down Analysis of Financial Markets with Bafana Masilela. He has developed a Forex Expert Advisor called the Armageddon System and a Cryptocurrency dubbed Pipcoin.

Ref’s website summarises his accomplishments pretty well. On the website, the South African traders are labelled “Forex Master, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist.” It goes on to say that “Ref Wayne is an award-winning currency trader, self-made millionaire, and a best-selling author.”

Forex traders in South Africa - Ref Wayne
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Nelisiwe Masango

Nelisiwe Masango has always wanted to be a Neurosurgeon ever since she was a girl. She started her adult career as a doctor but soon fell out of love with the practice. She developed a new interest in finance and investment that led her to study entrepreneurship and management. She never finished her study but instead went on to learn forex trading. Here she found her calling.

Nelisiwe Masango founded Bear Run Investments in 2013. The company has stood the test of time under the stewardship of Masango and has grown into a top-tier award-winning financial service provider. She recently started another company, Ubuntu Invests, which “provides the platform and technology to clients globally for them to successfully trade many of the financial markets. Including Forex, Derivatives, and Commodities.”

As a person, Nelisiwe Masango was awarded the African Growth Innovation & Leadership Award 2017 by Frost and Sullivan. In addition, she represented South Africa at the 2017 World Forum for Responsible Economy in Lille, France. She champions economic growth and supports programs that empower women through financial education. For this reason, she owns a non-profit, FeFine (Females with Finance).

Forex traders in South Africa - Nelisiwe Masango
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Sandile Shezi

Sandile Inocencio Shezi was born and raised in Umlazi township, Durban. He went to High School at George Campbell Institute of Technology then went on to join the Durban University of Technology for a Bachelor’s degree course in Civil Engineering. He later switched to Public Relations and Applied Communications but did not see the course through. He dropped out of school to pursue life as an entrepreneur. Things worked out well for Shezi because he met George Van Der Riet, who agreed to mentor him in Forex trading.

With years of experience in the financial sector, Van Der Riet moulded the ambitious Shezi into a Forex trading success. The two started Global Forex Institute, which was a success until recently when Sandile Shezi was implicated in multiple fraud cases involving clients. It has not yet been determined whether or not he is guilty, but the consequences of the case might have impacted the Institute going forward.

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Shaun Benjamin

Shaun Benjamin was born in Swaziland but did not grow up there. Instead, his single mother raised him in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal. After High School in 2012, he joined University for an Engineering degree but later switched to an Information Technology (IT) course. Although, he did not complete the new course. He had to leave school because he lacked the money to see him through. Benjamin was not discouraged. He managed to get a learnership for a National Certificate in Underground Coal Blasting Operations at Khethekile mining. After which, he got employed.

While working, he was introduced to Forex trading by a cousin who was “doing well for himself,” according to Shaun. Shaun learned that his cousin was working for a bank. He recalls roughly hearing about investments from his cousin on occasion. At this time, Shaun was looking for a way to get out of his job, and when he asked his cousin, his cousin gave him the materials he needed to learn Forex trading. “I just fell in love with Forex trading from there,” Shaun recounts in a video call interview with Sisanda Mabasow.

Like all the rest of the successful Forex traders, Benjamin Shaun created a Forex trading school called Benjamin Forex Academy. He became a millionaire at the age of 21 years old. He champions ethical trading and advices anyone who wants to trade the right way to have money somewhere in the range of R15,000. He says that anyone can succeed in trading Forex as long as they do their due diligence. He says that his Forex training school is different in that they are honest with their students about the start-up capital involved and the commitment required from the get-go.

Jabulani Ngcobo

Popularly known as Cashflow, Jabulani Ngcobo grew up in Durban, South Africa. He is an entrepreneurial businessman. He has done several jobs and owned several businesses throughout his life. At some point, he worked for Toyota and owned a debt collecting company at another. Three words describe him best: humility, industriousness, and tenacity.

He learned about Forex trading when working for one of his first businesses, a partnership, at 21. They were subcontracted to market the products of another company. As part of the contract, they got R38,000 a month plus other bonuses for new employer-provided cars and from the contractant.

However, he had bigger dreams. He was not content with a nice employer-provided vehicle and assured regular income. During one of the marketing jobs for their contractant, he saw a stand opposite theirs with banners that read, “Wealth creation,” “Forex trading,” and “Investment.” Together with his associates, Jabulani figured out a way to meet with them. They ended up getting contracted to market the Forex trading company, which was his gateway into Forex trading.

He made lots of money trading Forex in the following five years and became a millionaire by 26. He saw it fit to write his autobiography with Soweto Mandlanzi through the book CashFlow Naked, which is more than just his life’s story. The book also motivates and gives financial advice to his readers. He beat the odds despite facing numerous challenges on the way. He has been indicted for fraud on multiple occasions since 2014 and was even sentenced to four years in jail by a Durban court in 2019.

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Simz D’ Mandala

Simz D’ Mandla is a young millionaire from Tembisa who made his money trading Forex. This was despite an impoverished childhood and the lack of opportunities. From a young age, he had a knack for doing business. His breakthrough came when he met his mentor, Mr. Willem, who taught him how to trade in exchange markets.

A few years into the exchange market, Simz D’ Mandla became a millionaire at 20. He has since opened up a company, Trade4Africa, through which he wants to provide opportunities for the youth that he never had growing up.

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Louis Tshakoane Junior

Louis Tshakoane Jr did not have to beat the odds to make it to this list. He was born in a well-off family. His father, Louis Tshakoane Senior, was a Public Relations Officer at Kaizer Chiefs. This fortunate upbringing served as a basis for his ambition. Since he was young, Tshakoane Jr was always gravitating towards business, finance, money, and ambition. He had an idea to start a gym, Botho Gymnasium, when he was 15. While seeking capital for the gym, he impressed Richard Branson with his business proposal. Branson gave him equipment worth $200,000 for it. He became a millionaire at 15 years due to this business venture.

He worked with several companies while growing up but only learned about Forex trading while at the Financial Services Provider, UBS. He learned about the exchange markets while there and effectively became one of the most successful Forex traders in the country.

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Paballo Nkwe, Danielle Lester and Karen Joseph

The trio, popularly known as the first ladies, have made it in the Forex trading industry by combining experience, skill, and expertise. Paballo Nkwe, Danielle Lester, and Karen Joseph are founder members of the iSelect Group holding company, which they started in 2013. iSelect Wealth, a division of iSelect Group, does Forex trading. Essentially, the company offers clients Forex training and copy trading services. Their Forex trading venture, a historic male-dominated industry, has been immensely successful despite the challenges they faced along the way.

Danielle Lester is the CEO of iSelect Group. She is a serial investor. Lester has 15 years of experience in the financial services industry and is passionate about investment solutions, investments markets, and facilitating liquidated retirement funds. She has qualifications in Wealth Management, Honors in Marketing, and qualification in Occupational Risk Auditing.

Paballo Nkwe is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of the company. She is also a serial investor. She has over 12 years of experience in marketing, sales, and strategy. Paballo has consulted for leading companies in the fast-moving consumer goods industry, the Petroleum Industry, and the Financial services industry. She is passionate about youth development, particularly youthful women.

She is a life coach with a BA Humanities Honors degree in Industrial Psychology and an Associate in Management certificate. She has 22 years of experience in the wellness space of the Financial Services Industry. She is passionate about holistic wellness.

The story of South African traders listed in this article proves nothing is impossible. You can also defy the odds and become successful. You can learn more about some of the best forex brokers in South Africa.


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Job is a seasoned writer with a good understanding of the emerging markets, Africa to be specific.