Wan Batu: Selling Gems in S. Africa

My friend Wan Kean, who lives in Johannesburg, suggested I talk to “the other Wan” in South Africa. Glad I looked him up – what a fascinating life!

Wan Batu and wife, Siti Aishah

Wan Abdullah Wan Salleh is better known as Wan Batu, thanks to his gemstones business. He was also briefly known as Wan Bola, when he sold licensed World Cup Merchandise during the time South Africa was host country. 

As it turns out, Wan Batu tells me, he’s about to start a business promoting tourism between South Africa and Malaysia.

What next? Wan Lancong?


Name: Wan Abdullah Wan Salleh

Age: 46 years old

Family: 4 children

Hometown: Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia

Current city:  Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa

No of years abroad: 21 years

What brought you to South Africa?

Love is blind – lasted 14 years, 2 kids. Life goes on. The best thing that ever happened to me as a human being. University of Life.

What do you do for a living?

Businessman – Retail / Manufacturing / Semi-Precious Gemstones Products – Jewellery, Ornaments . Tours and Travel and Photographer. WGS Artifacts Africa / WGS Africa Tours&Travel / Studio Wan Photography.

What do you like about where you live?

Beautiful, Spacious, Nice Weather – 4 seasons but very mild.

What do you not like about where you live?

Crime, high cost of living, life style no freedom – we’ve to stay at a gated or expensive suburb.

How were you treated as a Malaysian in South Africa?

As long as you have money, colour is blind.

Would you return and why?

This Year- to start promoting Tourism between South Africa and Malaysia.  I will open a consultancy promoting both countries within travel agencies.

What do you miss about Malaysia?

4 Fs- Freedom, Foods, Family and Friends

What don’t you miss?

Traffic !!!!


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