‘It played a role in toughening me’: Musk reflects on ‘vιolenт’ SA upbringing

Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk says SA is "a very vιolenт place".

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has branded SA “a very vιolenт place”, saying growing up in the country is what motivated him to become what he is today. 

The Pretoria-born billionaire, in a recent interview on the Full Send Podcast, opened up about how the violence he experienced growing up toughened him.

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“When I grew up, things were very vιolenт. I was in a lot of fights I didn’t want to be in, I got beat up a lot of times. I’ve been in real, hard-core street fights. 


“I grew up in SA, which is a very vιolenт place. It played a role in toughening me up, that’s for sure.”

Musk said the physical bullying he experienced is nothing compared to what people say about him.  

“People who are worried about words have never been punched in the face. If you’ve been punched in the face real hard, right on the nose, man, you’ll take any words.” 

This is not the first time Musk has opened up about his time in SA and experiencing bullying while at Pretoria Boys High school.


In May, IOL reported BizNews obtained a letter from former Pretoria Boys High School headmaster Bill Schroder saying it had been documented that Musk was bullied and unhappy before moving to the school. However, he said there was no evidence he was poorly treated at the school. 

“It is well-documented in a number of biographies that Elon was bullied and an unhappy schoolboy in a school in Johannesburg and was moved to Pretoria Boys High in Grade 10.

“There is no evidence that he was poorly treated at Boys High and when he matriculated, he went to Canada where his mother was living,” said Schroder. 

Speaking to AFP earlier this year, Musk’s father, Errol, said he raised his sons “as South African boys” and with “the same discipline he learnt in the military”.

“I was a strict father. My word was the law. They learnt from me.

“It’s part of the way we lived, the way I lived. We strove to be the best we could. I strove to be the best in the type of business I was in,” he said.

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Hello, My name is Mia Lalisa and I am glad to have you here on Newspaper24hr. I am part time blogger and author. I have a strong passion for Football.

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