Living the Phakalane dream
Some years back his life was punctuated by adversity, ridicule, resistance, doors being shut on his face, perceived a day dreamer and even escaped death through the eye of a needle, things which could have resulted in him throwing in the towel and giving up his dream but David Magang did exactly the opposite.
And Reading his autobiography Magic of Perseverance where he chronicles his life as a child, student, academic, politician and businessman, his trials and tribulations, how the magic of perseverance eventually worked in his favour one cannot help but wonder in admiration the kind of patience that he has, the rare patience which was also alluded to by former president Festus Mogae when he officially opened the Golf Estates in August 2002.
Today Magang is living proof that it pays to persevere and to have an unyielding resolve as he is the first man in the country to develop a town.
After weeks of trying to sit down with him with no success, we also followed in his footsteps of perseverance and never gave up to feature him as The Voice Pioneer and the patience finally paid off recently when we eventually got the chance to interview him at his dream place, Phakalane Golf Estates.
“It has been a long and very difficult journey but I am happy that I never gave up, I am happy to be leaving my dream. We are seated here, having this interview in a place that many people never thought would one day exist,’’ said 71 year old Magang, the man behind high class Phakalane suburb.
“I think I am made of thinner staff because I don’t give up on things that I believe in. I also had to persevere not only because I believed it was possible for me as a black Motswana from the small village of Molepolole to develop a town but because I also had to prove people wrong,’’ he said.
And indeed he proved them wrong because as Mogae said, notwithstanding the obstacles that he faced, the resistance that the endured from the government officials while he was trying to sell his idea, Phakalane was nevertheless born making Magang a pioneer and a guru in property development.
“Some of the people who regarded the development of Phakalane as a far- fetched dream have actually bought plots and built their dream houses despite the fact that they delayed this project by almost 10 years. Some of the institutions that shut their doors on my face also have properties in Phakalane because they now see that Phakalane is no longer a dream but reality,’’ said Magang with a sarcastic laugh as if laughing back to those who laughed at him during the years when he was talking about his dream.
“For almost 10 years I was tossed from one office to the other as no-one seemed to understand what I was saying. I knew the government would not be able to provide housing for everyone so I wanted to fill in the gap but still no one cared to listen. But for me the more they resisted the more I developed the thick skin and the more I persevered’’ he said adding that to date hundreds of people have built their dream homes, hundreds have jobs and tens of people have invested in Phakalane, a place which he sweated for years to make it a reality.
The name Phakalane
Like phakalane, the bird of prey which swoops it’s prey in a split of a second, Magang also swooped the farm which is present day Phakalane right under the nose of those who were hoping to buy the 2000 hectare farm.
“That is where the name Phakalane came from because I am told those who were also interested in buying the farm say I just came from nowhere just like the bird and swooped the piece of land from them,’’ he explained adding that the name also came from the fact the birds were also frequent visitors to the farm.
“When I am long gone Phakalane will still be here and it will be here till eternity and so will be my name as the man who started it. It is indeed one of the greatest achievements that I will leave a legacy which I have no doubt will be carried on in the best possible way,’’ he said.
He said this is one of the reasons why he eventually quit politics in 2002 so he could concentrate on something tangible that he would be remembered for long after he has left.
“I may have not clinched presidency or vice presidency but I am happy now that I did not because I believe if I had, Phakalane would not be a where it is today. Politics takes one’s time but in the end one has nothing to show,’’ he said when asked about his regret for not clinching the highest office in the land.