On a cold February evening, Sashin Govender, a 25 year old entrepreneur and life coach from Johannesburg, South Africa, was sitting in the living room of a sprawling Beverly Hills mansion, chatting casually with singer, songwriter, record producer and entrepreneur, Akon.
Govender, a trim young man with an electric energy and a precision of thought, seemed perfectly at ease. After all, he has always had big dreams, and this was just one more step in his campaign towards realizing them.
Govender credits his composure and poise to his study of personal development at a tender age of 8 years old and when he trained to become a Chess wizard. He learned early on that the secret to success was affirmation, visualization and massive action. Chess helped him develop his mental game, as well as becoming a visionary.
Now Govender was seeking out a connection with a few of the most successful celebrities and influencers of our time. Realizing that music is a force in the world, continually driving events, and shaping our cultural attitudes, he wanted to connect with singer-songwriters. After all, music frames social issues in ways that surpass the mere power of words. For Govender, to be in collaboration with artists of a high caliber is quite meaningful.
In spite of the fact that Govender is almost half Akon’s age, he has experienced the life of an international celebrity, Govender recognized that the two had much in common. Akon, who grew up in a small village in Senegal, knows what it means to leave a third world country and make it in the United States. Even more important, Akon has always pursued his dreams, no matter how big.
In 2014, Akon transitioned from being a singer-songwriter and record producer into a ground-breaking entrepreneur. He decided to use his clout to effect real change in the world. His bold idea was to bring electricity to villages in Africa that had none. Calling it LIGHT UP AFRICA, he founded a company with the idea of bringing solar equipment to Africa. The project was so successful that it spread across Africa. In a mere five years, LIGHT UP AFRICA has put over 5,000 people to work and has brought electric lights and refrigeration to thirteen African countries and over 600 Million people. This is a success story that resonates with Govender.
Govender’s ventures with Akon have spilled over into the hip hop world, and he has been embraced by the new era of rap superstars such as Soulja Boy and Rich the Kid, where he Is also mentoring and coaching them with positivity, wisdom and personal development.
It is the street-smart, common sense, “ Work Like You Broke “ hustle that Govender intuitively shares with these rappers that helps him strike a common ground and emerge as a business icon for today’s youth culture.