Cassper Nyovest- born Refiloe Phoolo, is a South African recording artist and record label owner, known for his legendary hits, his love for the finer things in life, and industry game-changing moves. Transform Real Estate had the pleasure of chatting with Cassper about music, family and real estate.
Before the fame, there was just a young boy growing up in a town called Montshiwe in Mafikeng. He was one of three children namely; Thuto and Khutso who were all raised by Muzuki and Letsebela Phoolo, a teacher and school principal. His parents taught him life lessons that he continues to live by to this day.
He commends his father for his contagious humility which influenced him to value and respect everyone he meets, while also showing gratitude towards his mother as she has always been very supportive of his dreams.
Cassper’s life changed when he found his passion for rap at the age of 12. This happened just after he failed grade 10 and moved to his grandmother’s house in Potchefstroom. This move was later followed by a decision to drop out of high school at age 16: “I told my parents that I’d rather chase my dream, which I believe is going to work out, rather than keeping it safe and regret it my whole life.”
Following his heart, in 2006 Cassper relocated to Johannesburg to pursue a career in music as a rapper. “I was signed to a label called Impact Sound under Thabiso Tsotetsi. That’s when HHP, always more like a brother to me saw me and we did a song Wamo Tseba Mtho,” says Cassper.
But after two years of struggling in Johannesburg, he moved back home. “My grandmother gave me a mattress because I didn’t have anywhere to sleep, and it took a very long time for anything to happen.” He never gave up though, and after waiting it out for a while, he borrowed his sister’s last R100, to buy himself a return ticket to Johannesburg, and that was his turning point.
Always a money-savvy man, the rapper started his own record label ,Family Tree, the same year he released his debut album, Tsholofelo. He says: “Artists get only eight percent of their record sales, it’s the industry standard, and 50 percent of their show money. I didn’t want that; I wanted 100 percent of everything.”
Through this and other ventures, Cassper made history and broke many barriers by being the first South African artist to sell-out The Dome in Johannesburg without the help of an international act in 2015. In 2016 he pushed it further by attracting around 36 000 fans to Orlando Stadium in Soweto. And in 2017 he filled up the 5th largest stadium in the world, namely the FNB Stadium, selling nearly 70 000 tickets. He was the first South African hip-hop artist to achieve such a feat. His fans and peers who were in awe of this #FillUp movement crowned him ‘Abhuti fill up” and never ceased to congratulate and thank him for reminding them that dreams do come true.
He says: “I think as South Africans we grew up in a system thinking we were second best and not worthy. The reason I do these shows is to change the mind of an African kid.”
He will admit that after finally moving to Johannesburg for good, he spent years couch-surfing, and living with friends. This made buying his first property that more important. At the tender age of 25 in 2015, he purchased his first luxury home in Kyalami. However, Cassper took everyone by surprise when he announced the purchase of his R 10 Million house just two years later!
When asked about his massive move into real estate, Cassper says he just wanted to make his mama proud and provide for his family the best way he knows how. In true Mufasa style, the house reportedly has a lot of rooms, a state-of-the-art studio, an entertainment area, a cigar lounge and four garages to house his well-known host of cars, from BMWs and Bentleys to a Rolls Royce.
He goes on to say that owning a house means more than just showing off to his friends. He knows the true value and meaning behind it. “I came from very humble beginnings
and having a roof over my head is a privilege that I don’t take for granted. I worked very hard to achieve the things I have, and while I enjoy the finer things in life as much as anyone else, I recognise the importance of providing my family with the safety, security and dignity that comes with home-ownership.”
“Nothing is better than making my family proud. Buying this home for my family and me validates all the sleepless nights I have had, and all the sacrifices they have made for me. All I ever want to do is impress them,” he continued.
With a property portfolio now totalling more than R 10.5 million, Cassper says “While fancy cars, watches and clothes say a lot about the way we portray ourselves and our wealth, property is the only surest way to build generational wealth. I am glad that I am able to live this life and give this to my family.”
Finally, he says: “I believe in following your dreams. And while I don’t advise telling kids to drop out of school like I did to follow my dreams, I will say never give up on yours, and do what is necessary to make it come true.”