Senior Partner / Head of International Development
Senior Partner at DV Solicitors
Dr. Keith Bothongo is Senior Partner at Deo Volente Solicitors, and is responsible for overseeing and managing the firm’s international development. As a successful property mogul, his wealth of experience in the real estate industry will greatly benefit the firm’s global aspirations. With Keith on board, Deo Volente Solicitors aims to establish a presence in Johannesburg, New York and Dubai.
A Journey from Humble Beginnings to Worldwide Real Estate Mogul
There are several humble to humongous stories written on the pages of history and many that are still being written today— and one of them is probably DV Solicitors’ Senior Partner, Dr. Keith Bothongo’s success story.
There is a powerful narrative behind many people’s victory. It might be easy to dismiss success as an inheritance or generational wealth, but for Dr. Bothongo who follows a rag to riches story— his journey presents lessons in optimism and tenacity.
A Shoeless Boy in the Apartheid, SOUTH AFRICA
Born in Soweto, Johannesburg during the Apartheid regime, Keith Bothongo recalls himself as a shoeless boy who bought his first pair of shoes when he was already ten. Since Apartheid rules governed every aspect of daily life for his family, the segregation of Blacks from Whites placed them in an underprivileged society.
A tough childhood, Dr. Bothongo’s family moved to Botswana, where he attended school while side hustling by selling sweets and fruits to help with family finances. He took up boxing at Bafenyi boxing club in Gaborone, which molded him to be bold and fearless— characteristics that would later prove priceless in his business journey. In university, he stepped it up a notch by selling handbags and acquiring a loan with the aid of his father, a police detective, in buying two tipper trucks and starting a more profitable business.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics and Statistics at the University of Botswana in 1989. He decided to further his education and deepen his experience of other cultures by moving to the USA. He enrolled at the University of St Thomas in Minnesota, where he earned his Masters Degree in International Management (MIM) in 1991 and a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) in 1992.
Diving into a new world
His stay in Minnesota was a pivotal moment, as it was an eye-opener to the world of real estate and finance. He eventually learned the trade at The Minnesota School of Real Estate from 1992 to 1993, following a lifelong passion— the best career decision that paved his way to success.
Dr. Bothongo returned to Gaborone, Botswana in 1993 with all the knowledge acquired in the USA. Ready to dive in, he ventured into real estate and insurance, where he did outstandingly despite being a new leaf in the industry.
He and his family moved back to South Africa in 1994 after the first national democratic elections, where he established a real estate company specialising in property valuations. His company later took care of land restitution matters in the locality authorised by the Land Affairs Board. Through this, he became the first black South African registered as an Associate Valuer in 1996.
Dr. Bothongo invested his first commercial building in Johannesburg and extended into valuations, facilities management and property sales in 1998. His company was awarded the contract to manage the municipal roll for the City of Johannesburg which included the municipal valuation of Soweto.
240 Madiba Street, Gauteng
Businesses Under the Umbrella Bothongo Group
Bothongo Jet Aviations
Olga's Design & Decor
Taking on the Multi-billion land business in South Africa and Globally
Dr. Bothongo didn’t stop from real estate and finance. He continued to persevere in growing his property investments until today. It is from a shoeless boy to owning a multi-billion rand property portfolio and several South African and international commercial ventures. He established Bothongo Group out of sweat and blood.
Receiving Honorary Doctorate from North West University, South Africa
Being a mogul in real estate and finance, his unending thirst for learning made him set his heart to continue his education at the University of Buckingham in the United Kingdom, where he completed his Bachelor of Law (Hons.). It was followed by a Masters Degree in Law (LLM) specialising in International and Commercial Law in 2014. The University of Buckingham awarded him the Morayo Atoki Prize for Best All -Round Performance in the 2014 Master of Laws (LLM) Examination for his academic achievements and significant contributions to the LLM programme.
In 2018, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the South African Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP).
A message to the world
Dr. Bothongo attributes his success to daring to be a visionary, perseverance in chasing his dreams, and understanding that any ventures built on honesty and integrity.
“I’d like to encourage everyone reading to follow their dreams. It’s not always easy – you will stumble. You will fall, but you need to get up, dust yourself off and keep going. Keep trying. Eventually, you will get there. Be focused, be determined and persevere. Forget about what other people say or think. Take the fear of failure out of the equation.”.
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