BY CHARLES MYAMBO
AWARD-WINNING Alec Martin is widely regarded as one of the most successful young chief executive officers in the world.
Martin is extremely multifaceted, he is an entrepreneur, credit specialist, investor, philanthropist, designer, artist, producer, actor and brand influencer all in one. He is an IMDb (an online database of information related to films, television series, home videos, video games, and streaming content online) recognised actor and has received several accolades for both acting and singing.
Martin is also the founder of the global fashion brand known as Astyle Alive. NewsDay (ND)’s United States-based Life & Style correspondent Charles Myambo caught up with Martin (AM) and below are excerpts from their conversation.
ND: The depth in your credentials is simply mind-boggling. How on earth do you excel in several seemingly different disciplines?
AM: “I am the type of person that tries to learn as much as I can and be great at them all. Holding these skills is a great way to keep the mind busy and being another person that can assist in any field when required to do so.
“Each of these skills has its own time and can be adjusted as needed.”
ND: How did you feel when you purchased your first Bentley? Did that come as a form of validation for you?
AM: “Honestly, it felt like another purchase actually. I was not over the top excited like I was when I purchased my first ever car, but I was proud that I was able to crack the next level of what they call bracket.”
ND: The notion of success without trials is a fallacy especially considering how naysayers are in life. How do you avoid succumbing to negativity?
AM: “Naysayers and haters are a part of everyone’s journey. They do not want you to win. They do not want to see you on top.
“They talk negatively and pray for your downfall. I personally do not feed into that stuff. I am very big on energy and I just go with what the universe throws at me.
“I am not the one to feed into negativity.”
ND: Being a businessman, I am sure you are always planning and projecting. Are you intrigued by the prospect of one day expanding your enterprise beyond the US and into Africa?
AM: “Absolutely yes, I have actually never been to Africa and that is on my list of things to do. I would love to set some things up in the future and with your help and the help of the people of Africa.
“It is a cliché, but I truly believe Africa is the motherland. A truly special continent filled with amazing people. I really envisage one day being of great service to the beautiful people of Africa.”
ND: Historically, most respected industry tycoons have predominantly hailed from the United States and Europe. With this in mind, have they been any African or Zimbabwean businessman who you feel fits into this echelon?
AM: “Among Africans, Aliko Dangote (Nigerian businessman) stands out as being perhaps the wealthiest and most well-known.
“Then in terms of Zimbabweans, Strive Masiyiwa (Econet founder) has achieved tremendous feats in business. Both gentlemen are a good benchmark for top-tier financial success.
“That said, what inspires me most is not the money that one makes, but rather how much they give back. Strive has done very well with his fund to support high-achieving orphans from Zimbabwe and Africa to get a free university education.
“As long as these successful men or women are giving back to the community, country, and anyone severely in need, then yes, they are an inspiration to me.
“I do not know much about these men, but I myself love to see my people elevate and become successful. So, if these qualities are done by anyone then those people are great.”
ND: Collaboration can be quite a potent tool in most industries. During your elaborate career, have you had any standout collaborations that you are at liberty to disclose?
AM: “So far, I have not had the opportunity to really collaborate with any public figure or brands.
“We have some things in the pipeline, but I will speak on that another time. I do not want to let anything out of the bag as yet.”
ND: Given your potent musical background, It would be remiss if I do not ask you about some Zimbabwean artistes. Could you give us a brief synopsis of Afro-culture and Zimbabwean music?
AM: “Tinashe “T-Collar” Sibanda is a big superstar here in the US with hit songs like 2 On. Gemma Griffiths is also an exceptional singer and lyricist. EXQ, Winky D, Jah Master and Killer T are quite good at creating “feel good” and hype music.
“It would be such a pleasure to work with these said artistes. Afro culture is getting the recognition it deserves and these guys are putting a staple in the music industry.
“I would love the opportunity and knowing myself, it will happen.”