Nkosana Makate is a South African finance executive who invented the Please Call Me concept at Vodacom in 2000. He fought for years to get compensation from the telecom giant and won in 2024. He is now hailed as an everyman hero and a symbol of resilience and fairness.
Come with me as I uncover the Biography of Nkosana Makate, including his age, career, wife, kids, family, net worth and more.
Nkosana Makate Early Life and Education
Nkosana Makate was born in 1977 at Natalspruit Hospital in Gauteng, South Africa. He was raised by his maternal grandparents in Katlehong, a township in the East Rand of Ekurhuleni. His mother was studying to become a teacher, and his father was not involved in his life.
He attended Alapang High School before transferring to a college in Springs, where he finished Grade 11 and matriculated in 1994.
He then pursued a Bachelor of Commerce at an undisclosed institution, where he graduated with honours. Nkosana Makate’s qualifications include a SAICA certification that he attained while working at Vodacom. He is a qualified CA (SA).
Nkosana Makate Career
Nkosana Makate is a finance executive who started his career in accounting at Vodacom in 1995. He was part of their trainee accounting program and worked there until 2003.
He then became a finance manager at Nedbank for three years, followed by a finance manager at the City of Joburg for six years.
He is currently a director of finance at the South African Local Government Association.
Nkosana Makate’s Vodacam Case
Nkosana Makate’s Vodacom case is a long-running legal dispute between the inventor of the “Please Call Me” service and the telecom giant. Makate claims that he came up with the idea in 2000 when he was an employee at Vodacom, and that he was promised a share of the revenue by a senior executive. However, Vodacom later denied any agreement and refused to pay him.
Makate took the matter to court and won several judgments, including a landmark ruling by the Constitutional Court in 2016 that ordered Vodacom to negotiate a reasonable compensation with him.
However, the negotiations failed, as Makate rejected Vodacom’s offer of R47 million, which he considered too low. He then challenged the offer in the High Court, which ruled in his favor and ordered Vodacom to pay him between 5% and 10% of the total revenue generated by the service over 18 years, plus interest.
Vodacom appealed the decision, but the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed it in February 2024, upholding the High Court’s judgment. Makate is now entitled to a payout that could amount to billions of rands, unless Vodacom appeals to the Constitutional Court again.
Nkosana Makate Personal Life, Wife and Children
Nkosana Makate is married to Rebecca Makate, a pediatrician. They have three children together and live in Johannesburg.
Nkosana Makate Net Worth
Nkosana Makate has an estimated net worth of R3 million ($160,000) as of 2024.