Our founder – Listin Gumbi

Listin Gumbi is the 7th child of a preacher man Lungisani Milis Gumbi and Dhudhla Dube. He was born into severe poverty. They could go for 3 days without food. His first pair of shoes was when he was in grade 4 – donated by plan international.

Even though they lacked so much Listin’s mother was a giver. She could give others their last meal she was mother Theresa 2. But his father’s giving was on another level – because of that his mother would quarrel with his father. I am talking of a man who could give that which he doesn’t have. They were givers. Talk about fairness Mr. Gumbi was an extra ordinary human being, as a compiler of names of children who were sponsored by Plan international to get cattle he made sure that his son Listin Gumbi was the last in the queue – as a result his son didn’t get the donation. At his funeral another community member stood up and said “If God was to tell me that I am taking Mr. Gumbi from you. I was not going to say take me. But I was going to say, put Mr. Gumbi aside, now select from us, not Mr. Gumbi”

Listin Gumbi as a young boy…

As a young boy Listin Gumbi loved hunting, herding goats, and mainly his school work. From grade 1 to grade 7 he was always number 1 in his class and the other 3 classes of his stream. At a tender age while he was still attending Sunday school himself, he was chosen to become vice Sunday school teacher. And the next Sunday he came with a notebook titled junior deacon, bishop reverent L.Gumbi.

Listin Gumbi at his primary school

As a grade 3 pupil and grade 3 teacher.
During his primary education he was tasked by teachers to help other kids with corrections and he loved that. But for you to qualify for his help you were supposed to agree to his terms –that he must teach you about God first then corrections and homework. By then he was just a short boy with rickets and a big head.

Listin Gumbi as the under 10 soccer team’s best scorer

At the age of 10 he joined the school under 10 soccer team and he was the team’s goal scorer playing number 11. His jersey was number 10 and they called him Maradona. This is the guy who could wear his shoes when leaving home only to hang them around his neck. And he could avoid the main road to walk in grass because the road was too hot to step on. “I just didn’t want to wear shoes” was his answer when I asked him why then not wear shoes when it was that hot. He could wear them when he was near his home.

As his sister’s sales boy

When his sister started a business of making homemade sweets using sugar and goat’s milk Listin negotiated for a selling contract and it was granted by his sister. He sold the sweets at his primary school and while his sister was selling at her secondary school and the business was a success. His sales skills doubled the profits. Listin was born ready to sell.

As the best poet ever

At grade 5 he was given a task by the school to write poems for the school poetry team that would go and compete with other schools. And Listin was the best among his team when it comes to poetry performance. And the winner was always – Listin Gumbi. In grade 6 When he was defeated in public speaking competitions his excuse was, “they give me shoes and they know I am not used to shoes then that thing to talk into, so I had to talk into that thing(microphone) and listen to the speakers at the same time to hear how my voice sounded in radio.”

Author at grade 7

With the help of his poetry team member Luckyson they co-authored a book called (Nhamo a shona name that means poverty). The book was considered one of the best by the ministry of education who promised to help publish the book. Nhamo was a name of another orphan who had dropped out of school because of poverty. That angered the two to write the book. Listin was the main author even though he was and still so bad in Shona language.

Goodbye primary

At grade 7 he had won every award and proved that he was a genius. He totaled every subject in his grade 7 final examinations but failed the Shona subject because he was bad in the language. He started focusing more on how poor his people were and what could be done to change the situation. He was more heartbroken when his childhood friend Tinashe dropped out of school. He dropped out to work for his mother and young brothers while he was in grade 6.

Listin the inventor

At 15 Listin met with Mortion Gumbo a lover of sciences. His father was based in London. He owned a welding business. Mr Gumbo could supply Mortion and Listin with tools, metals and electricity – he was number 1 supporter of the 2. And the 2 could only get access to the tools midnight as the welding machines and tools were used till late. They could design a machine after they have achieved their goal they would destroy and start another project. The main machineries that were invented using the thrown away materials were machines that can help rural people’s lives easier. Their most difficult machine was the machine they thought the easiest – a peanut butter grinding machine. They said “nomatter how they had positioned the outlet at the bottom peanut butter was not going down but up to mix with raw peanuts”. They later managed to get the machine running. Their main focus was automated machines for poor rural people. They were surprised to discover that some of the machines they had invented were already invented and many were identical to their inventions even though they were slower and less effective than theirs. They didn’t know anything about patents.

The self taught coder & programer

Everything changed when Mortion’s father brought them an old model laptop from London. That was the end of inventions as the boys had never seen a tv or heard anything about computers. To make matters worse the laptop used coding commands to do anything. The commands posed as a challenge to both Mortion and Listin. From sour lemons the boys made lemonade. They studied how the laptop worked – the software, coding and hardware. When they had now familiarized themselves with the coding and the hardware the most terrible thing happened – the machine died. And there was no computer technician to fix the laptop and that was the end. They gave up. Instead of giving up or fixing the machine they decided to improve the laptop. They fixed the machine by replacing dead parts with their own made parts. They increased the speed of the laptop. Then they started coding many applications. Most of the applications were to help with the running of Mr Gumbo’s business. Their favorite was the bookkeeping software even though they didn’t know anything about bookkeeping. Mortion went on to study computer science and they could do Mortion’s assignments together during holidays. Today Listin helps university students who are studying computer related degrees, from coding, programming, networking, ethical hacking, servers etc.

The divorce

Listin Gumbi’s parents parted while he was in form 1 and that destroyed his ambitions for anything. His parents both left him with his 2 youngsters Christian and Moreblessing to take care of. At this moment he was a child himself. Mr Gumbi thought if Mrs Gumbi would come to know that he is not coming back Mrs Gumbi will go back to the kids and Mrs Gumbi thought the same. As a result the children remained alone. He could wake up and cultivate the fields with Christian, then later go to school. And Moreblessing would help him with the grinding of millet mealie meal with stones – the old age way. He became a provider when he needed a provider. He wrote his first song, you are the provider.

The businessman

Listin wanted to open a grocery shop but had no capital. When he was sent by his sister to stock for her grocery shop he was given pocket money for food. And that pocket money became his capital. Still it was 0,003% of the money he needed to start the grocery shop. Instead of quitting again he turned a lemon into lemonade. He stocked disprin tablets. He made a deal with different grocery stores to sell his goods which they didn’t have in stock. He ended selling more than what 2 grocery shops could do. The business boomed. On Fridays he could travel with his books in a satchel sourcing goods to stock. That was the time when goods were scarce – not to him

Bad influence

At form 3 he met with another cheeseboy who was expelled from another school and everything suffered. His business and schoolwork suffered. Poverty struck again. Listin called it quits because he didn’t have money for writing examinations. He was in and out of school. Although he continued to be a star in public speeches and poetry for the school his school work suffered. With his dribbling skills he was named Elhaj Diouf. With the help of his brother inlaw Mr Mafe the situation turned for the better.

Listin the failure

Everything changed on the last minute when Mr sthambile Mafe paid Listin’s examination fees. But it was too late. Out of 5 subjects Listin passed only 1 subject – Science.

The birth of Cyvd

Cyvd stood for Christian youth vision development. Founded in 2006 the organization was meant to boost Africa’s economy through self reliance projects at the same time eradicating poverty. Included in the program was to discover talent and visionaries and help them archive their visions especially on innovation. Above all Listin believed that it was better for people to lack material possessions than to lack God. He presented his ideas to the church leaders and he was turned down. They said that his ideas were not making sense. But 3 months later the projects were started with him excluded and many people made a fortune. The project later failed before it had reached many people. In his plans he had foreseen and included steps to avoid that problem. If the leadership had followed Listin’s guidelines and steps, Africa could have been speaking another language. To them he was too young to be involved in such serious business. Cyvd was later renamed Tgs which stands for “the good Samaritans”.

2009 The meeting with a muslim philosopher and a childhood friend

Listin met with Raheem in 2009 in winterveldt, Pretoria at Listin’s homestead and he was reading a book titled “Think and grow rich”. Listin wanted to know what the book was about. And the friendship began. Raheem was more surprised when Listin could complete his sentences and that of the books Raheem was studying. He would explain more on theories presented in Raheem’s books even though he had not read or see the books. He himself was surprised on how much wisdom Listin possessed. They later studied the whole bible followed by the whole Quraan. They both failed to convert each other to each other’s belief. Up to today they are best buddies. Raheem is known as a thinker and good boy of Pretoria on the international stage.

Listin’s first love and own degrees

Listin took short courses in accounting and marketing. That is when he met his first love Seipati. He went on to study more materials that were used by universities on degree programs and he self taught himself to stardom and awarded himself with honors degrees. He wanted to be in class with others but his secondary results could not permit him.

2010 – Listin the advisor and his first job at Fish and chips

Listin’s first job was at Fish and chips in Hatfield, Pretoria. At the same time he advised businesses to stardom who never bothered to employ him even though he had made millions for them. He developed business systems and marketing strategies that boosted their profits. And he could say, their happiness is enough payment for my services. One day he was later caught eating leftover chips by the owner and was forced to give a testimony against his workmates or he will be fired. He chose to be fired.

His last 2 jobs and Joburg is calling

He later worked for an ad agency based at Churchsquare in Pretoria cbd. He left the ad agency to work for Letsatsi financial services. This is when he started experiencing digital marketing. Even though it was not working he didn’t quit. That was 2010. Before we knew it, it was bye-bye Letsatsi Joburg is calling. In 2012 his digital marketing showed results and he founded Hashtag99 in award winning international digital agency.

In Johannesburg

In his arrival in Bezvalley, Johannesburg Listin started a printing company which he later sold, with the aim of marketing online using Hashtag99. His company grew from zero to hero through digital marketing. And he started an accounting company called Hb chartered accountants. He made it. That was in 2012

The first prophecy

When Listin was on his way from Lesotho to see a client of his multi-million printing company he met a prophet. “God is showing me street names being changed to Listin Gumbi “said the prophet. “Is that your name” he asked. “Everything will flow if you do the will of God. What you think you love to do is not what you love but what God wants you to do. If you do the will of God everything will flow, if not the opposite will happen”. 2 years later the businesses suffered and he sold his printing company which he later went back to work as a marketing manager. No matter how much he tried the business was going down. When the business final fell to the ground, the business incurred millions of loses and the company and owners had to sell everything from a pen. In order to help the owners of the company Listin liquefied his assets from a spoon to raise millions to cover those who were affected. And everything happened as the prophet had said.

The second prophecy

On this prophesy Listin was told not to focus on the minor but the major by a guest speaker at his church – another prophet. The prophet named Listin’s companies one by one and told him that those are the minor I am referring to and your calling is the major goal. He went on to say if you focus on the minor you will miss both the minors and the major. Do what God called you to do and all will be well with you.

Listin’s encounter with God.

“I was thinking of what the prophets had told me. Everything had happened as they had said. I didn’t take them seriously. I then started praying violently. I was told to give offering by the Holy Spirit. I then thought of giving all that I had in the bank and my pockets. That was my last money. I continued praying and I started having revelations on what went wrong. Then I started realizing how much God loved me and how he had saved my life even though I didn’t deserve and wasn’t aware. God came to me. And he held my hands and he strengthened me. After that I didn’t feel my flesh. I felt like I was just something like just air. I know what I saw and what I felt although I can’t explain it. I felt like I was floating in the air but when I looked at my feet I wasn’t. It was like the force of gravity wasn’t working on me. He said to me, if you do that which I sent you to do, I will bless you abundantly, I will be there for you, I will bless all who bless you, I will curse those who will curse you, I will fight those who will fight you. Your duty is to change the world using light and love. You must not fill your stomach too much. I replied to him and told him that I will do what you want me to do. And the whole thing happened as an agreement between me and God. I began to have a clear understanding of how God loves us. I knelt down and cried like a child thanking God. Is this how much you love us God, why do you love us this much, why do you love me this much, I cried and cried. It took me time to be able to look anyone in the eyes.

I was told to go to Mama Mabusa to pray for me. I went to her church for the first time. When I was on the steps climbing to the church I saw her. I wasn’t so sure if it was her but she greeted me. “How are you? Do you have any message for me from heaven?” she was leaving the church. We talked. She came back just after service and she prayed for me and I felt like a burden had been removed from me and everything started flowing.

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