Man Crush Monday (MCM): Tumi Phake

by Duke Magazine

Tumi Phake is a young, pioneering South African fitness entrepreneur, operating at the highest levels of this niche, capital-intensive sector.

For about five years after leaving the corporate sector, Tumi Phake delved into entrepreneurship and the fitness sector to launch Zenzele Fitness. Today Phake, the founder of Zenzele Fitness, can boast with over 13 thriving fitness clubs and the vision to have over 100 clubs within the next 10 to 15 years.

Since inception, Zenzele Fitness counts Alexander Forbes, SAB, Absa and Discovery as clients. In 2017 Phake was named the Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year in the annual Entrepreneur of the Year competition.

In 2018 Phake was one of the business people featured in a new book, titled ‘How we made it in Africa’, which tells the stories of 25 entrepreneurs who’ve built thriving businesses.

Zenzele’s significant participation in the multi-billion industry is confident to set a footprint within South Africa and abroad within the next few years.

Award-winning entrepreneur, Tumi Phake is the Founder and CEO of Zenzele Fitness Group and a former Investment Banker with Rand Merchant Bank. Mr. Phake was one of 15 entrepreneurs from Africa chosen to spend time at Harvard on a prestigious entrepreneurship program. He is a former Mandela-Washington Fellow and is the first black person in South Africa to own a slice of the commercial fitness industry as we know it today. He has been featured by the Mail & Guardian in its Top 200 Young South African’s list where he was recognized as a South African under the age of 35 who is a ground-breaker in his industry. Zenzele Fitness Group is reported by Destiny Man Magazine to be one of the top three gym brands in the world from a quality point of view. Tumi Phake holds a bachelor’s degree in Financial Management and was raised in the East Rand township of Tembisa.

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