The award-winning chairperson of Zimbabwe-based Alpha Media Holdings and controlling shareholder of the M&G Media Group admitted to suffering from "acute bouts of self-doubt" as a child.
In his TEDx Talk, he said he came from poor and humble beginnings, and was often bullied. He found out he had dyslexia and malapropism and struggled at school.
"Thank[s] to Microsoft Word, I can now fake it." He said.
He describes his poor upbringing as leading him later in life to "bet for the poor and marginalised, bet for the downtrodden … so consumed with associating with the voiceless".
"My upbringing taught me humiilty … it taught me hard work … it taught me love for people," he said.
Ncube's humility and wit was praised on Twitter:
— Dave Duarte (@DaveDuarte) April 1, 2013
— Duncan McLeod (@mcleodd) April 1, 2013
The media mogul stressed the importance of adversity, saying that "sometimes its important to be fired … sometimes its important to be divorced". He told the audience that if he had not been fired from his job as an editor-in-chief, he would not be where he is today.
TED talks began in 1984 as an intimate gathering of influential figures from the worlds of technology, entertainment and design (TED). The annual event was turned into a global platform for "ideas worth spreading" after being taken over by Chris Anderson's nonprofit Sapling Foundation.
TED described their TEDx events as "a programme of local, self-organised events that bring people together … where live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group". – Additional reporting by AFP