Mike Blake/Reuters

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Let’s Talk Elon Musk

The man of the decade! Elon Musk has been gathering and attracting the attention of the whole globe. He is most known for being the Chief Executive Officer and Product Architect of Tesla, but he has so much more up his sleeve. People’s interest in Elon Musk goes beyond his position at Tesla as many have been asking about his nationality, educational background, accent, and net worth.

One of the questions floating around across search engines is:

Is Elon Musk South African?

Elon Reeve Musk was born on June 28, 1971, in Pretoria – South Africa. He was born Errol Musk (father) and Maye Musk (mother). This means that Elon Musk is South African, he also holds citizenship for two other countries.

Although Maye Musk is Canadian by birth, Elon didn’t claim it while in South Africa. At the age of 17, he avoided joining the mandatory military service in South Africa by moving to Canada. And, while he was staying there, he obtained his Canadian citizenship in 1989. He then moved to the United States of America where he became a US Citizen in 2002.

Although he traveled and lived in Canada and the USA, his South African accent remains. Most noticeable, you can hear it when Elon Musk pronounces Tesla as Tez-Lah instead of Tess-Lah. During several interviews, he mentioned that he doesn’t actively think of how he pronounces it, but stresses that Tesla holds one “S”. He thinks if the S in Tesla is not to be pronounced as a Z, people should at least make a short “S”.

How does Elon Musk Study and Learn?

Aside from avoiding military service in South Africa, Musk moved to Canada in 1989 to attend Queen’s University. However, his stay there only lasted 2 years as he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania to continue his education. He managed to finish his bachelor’s degree in Wharton School and a Bachelor’s degree in physics from the College of Arts and Sciences. He also pursued his Ph.D. in applied physics and material sciences after being accepted at Stanford University in California. That degree didn’t see the light as he decided to drop out and pursue his entrepreneurial dreams.

Many ask: “Is Elon Musk a Scientist?” No, Elon Musk is not a scientist, but he is a technology entrepreneur, investor, and engineer. He started up many companies that became market giants such as PayPal. He also has several investments in multiple companies extending across different industries and vectors. Aside from being the Chief Executive Officer of Tesla, he is a chief architect in the production of electric cars.

Is Elon Musk a Billionaire?

Yes, Elon Musk is a Billionaire. According to Business Insider, Elon Musk’s net worth is a little bit less than 23.6 Billion USD. Surprisingly, his contract at Tesla charges the minimum salary of  56,000 USD) per year. What is more shocking is that he doesn’t take it. So, how does he make his money?

His success roots back to when he was 12 years old when he created and sold his own game. Blastar was a game aiming shooting an alien spaceship filled with mass destruction weapons. He made 500 USD by publishing the code on the African magazine PC and Office Technology. The game was the first thing Elon Musk had ever sold. In an interview, Musk said: “trivial game… but better than Flappy Bird”.Elon Musk also took on several jobs and internships that included boiler cleaning to banks and other financial institutions.

Later in his life, he founded Space Exploration Technologies, also known as SpaceX. With Musk holding 54%, his shares are worth a lot, especially that the company’s valuation is at $33.3 Billion. Moreover, he founded one of the world’s most used fintech companies for payments; PayPal, which was sold to eBay for 1.5 Billion USD back in 2002, which skyrocketed Elon Musk’s wealth.

In addition to those, Elon has started up and invested in several other companies including but not limited to SpaceX, OpenAI, FutureofLife, Neuralink, Starlink, The Boring Company, Hyperloop, Tesla, SolarCity, Stem Centrix, Vicarious, [Inside], Strip… He also diversified his investments across different sectors and industries such as Aerospace, Artificial Intelligence, Telecom, Transportation, Infrastructure, Automotive, Manufacturing, Energy, and Angel Investments.

So while many believe that Tesla is the reason why Elon Musk is a billionaire, Musk’s wealth sources extended beyond Tesla and date back to before it was incorporated.




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