- Rachel Dares
Introducing Melvin Pillay
Updated: Mar 21, 2022
Born into poverty in rural South Africa during the Apartheid era, Melvin lived in a tin shack with five siblings. His family had to rely on prayer to get through their hardships. Yet, even with the unending
challenges he had faced early in his life, Melvin had his eye for success. "At age
7, I saw an airplane fly overhead, and I started to chase after the plane to take
me away from poverty and hopelessness. I thought to myself, one day, I'm going to fly and never stop flying." That spark of belief led Melvin to manifest his
dream decades later.
Growing up in such dire situations served to be highly enlightening. Melvin
understood that poverty is not the way for him and that people would never
listen to his ideas if he were poor. However, after the tragic death of his older brother, a law graduate student, and the family's only economic hope, the
entire responsibility of the family fell on his shoulders. Melvin experienced
many misfortunes, but his uninterrupted ambitions for success led him to take
up a job in New Zealand. He went door to door selling home security systems. "I was a total failure. People like me, but they didn't like me that much to give me
the money for the alarms. I was broke," he remembers.
During the lowest point in his life, Melvin stumbled upon an interesting audio cassette, which he found at a public library in Auckland. The cassette tape had Zig Ziglar's name on it, and it cost $2 to rent. So instead of using that money to eat, Melvin invested his last two dollars, brought the tape home, and did not regret it. "My education in sales and business started right there with that first audiotape." Ziglar's thought-provoking words and charisma were exhilarating, and Melvin knew what he needed to do for the rest of his life. It was right then when Melvin developed his love for sales, success, and leadership. "[Zig] said, 'I wish I could get my arms around you and look you in your eyes and tell you I believe in you because I truly do,' I believed him."
Ziglar's philosophy highly influenced Melvin. After all, Ziglar was the
grandfather of motivational speakers, an icon whose speeches reached 250
million people. Melvin learned that the way to get anything in life is through
helping others achieve what they want in life. "I decided to grow my business
by serving others by helping them find their life's purpose." As a result, Melvin
became a well-regarded Ziglar Platinum speaker and business trainer, using a
dynamic combination of historical, spiritual and practical elements in his
teachings. He also led and presided over several organizations, including the
World Voice of Hope Foundation.
Through the power of prayer, his tenacity, and continuous motivation, Melvin
attained his goals. Now he and his wife, Michele, reside in Dallas, Texas. He
provides financial and business education through his public speaking events
and works as a consultant to international business and political leaders.