Exclusive Interview: Featuring Uwais Asmal CA(SA)

Estimated read time 4 min read

Uwais Asmal, a skilled and reputable CA (SA) with extensive experience working with small businesses and assisting them in growing, was interviewed by Africa Talks Business. In this interview, Uwais expands on the kind of influence he hopes to have on the nation, discusses what motivated him to pursue a career as a chartered accountant, and offers some new gold nuggets for those wishing to work in the finance industry.

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Just a background on you & how your journey started.
“I am a chartered accountant with over 15 years experience in scaling small businesses using
finance and accounting skills, as well as experience in real estate investment and asset
management. I am also a content creator on Linkedin, Youtube and Podcast.
I was born and grew up in Cape Town.
Taking public transport during my schooling taught me street smarts. Being chased by
gangsters taught me a lot about assessing risk and how to act in dangerous situations.
I was lucky enough to have family in other parts of South Africa. This gave the opportunity to
travel the country and spend time in Kwazulu Natal, Free State and Gauteng. Travelling
broadens the mind and gives you a wider perspective on life. This is one of the reasons why
I am able to see things from different perspectives.
I started my content-creation journey in 2020. It has opened up more opportunities for me
than I ever thought possible. It has improved my networking opportunities, I have learnt how
to moderate panels, be a key-note speaker at events and so much more. These are skills
that most chartered accountants don’t get to learn.”

With your current experience, what impact would you like to make in Africa?
“Africa is the most abundant continent from a resource and young population point of view.
Our resources have been making other continents rich for centuries. If we can help
ourselves, we can grow the continent.
For me it is not necessarily about trying to make an impact on the whole continent. I try to
make an impact on one person’s life. If you focus on enough individuals, after a while, they
start to add up.
Helping one person out of poverty empowers them to bring their whole family out of poverty.
It has a multiplier effect. Money alone will not solve the problem. Education is important, so that
people know how to manage money.”

What about the finance sector do you enjoy?
“I’ve always enjoyed numbers. Numbers are factual. They never lie. However, it is not all
black and white. Building a financial model can be a work of art. The ability to use numbers
to build and scale businesses and even communities is powerful.
In the last few years I’ve come to appreciate that the finance sector is not just about the
numbers. Being able to sell and convince people can set you apart from others. Learning
these skills has been surprisingly enjoyable.”

What encouraged you to become a CA?
“I attended previously disadvantaged schools. I was good at numbers and enjoyed
accounting. I did not know anything about chartered accounting until my matric year (Grade

In my matric year, I was invited to attend a 3-day workshop at a big-4 audit firm. They took
us along to visit clients and showed us what a chartered accountant does.
It was at that point that I decided that I was interested in becoming a chartered accountant.
I was lucky enough to receive a bursary to study at Stellenbosch University. I met some of
my closest friends there, most who are also chartered accountants today.”

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to venture into the Finance
“If you are willing to learn and work hard, there are more opportunities than you believe.
Apply at any potential opportunity. Even if you apply at 100 different places, it does not
matter that you receive 99 rejections, as long as you receive 1 approval.
The benefit of being a chartered accountant is that every type of business needs one. There
will always be job opportunities. This is different to other jobs. For example, economists
generally can only find jobs at very large organisations. This limits their opportunities.
Accountants are needed at big businesses, medium sized businesses and even startups.
If you are interested in cycling, you can use your accounting qualification to get a job at a
bicycle distributor or a large cycle race.
Lastly, be curious. Be open to learning different things. That will set you apart from others.”


LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/uwais-asmal?lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_profile_view_base_contact_details%3BmnxXMyILSfKbm8teqhP%2BMQ%3D%3D

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