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Reeva Forman Net Worth and Biography

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Glusea brings to you Reeva Forman net worth and biography

Reeva Forman is a South African businesswoman and managing director of Reeva Forman (Edms.) Bpk. (founded in 1974), a business manufacturing and marketing cosmetics. She has also made her name as a public speaker on topics such as management, marketing, motivation, personal development, and human relationships.

Biography

Forman was born in Johannesburg, the daughter of Joseph (Jo) and Cherry (née Hotz) Forman. Her mother was the daughter of Jewish immigrants to Cape Town and her father was from Johannesburg. Her grandparents emigrated in the 19th century from Lithuania or Latvia to South Africa with the outbreaks of the pogroms. Joseph was a pharmacist in Doornfontein, whose pharmacy, Sherwell Pharmacy, was located on 2 Sherwell Street, on the corner of Beit Street. The family of four (Forman had a brother who died of Parkinson’s disease in 2017) lived in a two-room apartment above the pharmacy.

At the time of Forman’s birth, Doornfontein was a predominantly Jewish area, but the exodus of Jews to the northern suburbs of Johannesburg had already begun. However, Forman described the neighborhood she grew up in as “beautiful.” Both her parents worked full-time at the pharmacy, where her father became known as “the poor people’s doctor,” while her mother worked directly with customers. As Jews left, Doornfontein became a more cosmopolitan neighborhood, and her parents wound up selling to customers of all races. Forman remembers that all were treated equally.

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In the area at the time, political and racial discrimination lacked the foothold it had gained in other parts of South Africa. Her mother pointed out to her that anything was possible no matter one’s circumstances, because “the Lord is good,” but her father added: “provided you work hard.”

At the age of 13, Forman began her career as a teen model as one of the first models for Habib van Fordsburg’s saris. Shortly before the Sharpeville massacre of 1960, her parents borrowed money and built shops on either side of the pharmacy with a view toward renting them. After Sharpeville’s detrimental effect on business confidence, the Formans struggled to rent out the stores. Eventually, they had to sell the property for a pittance. Her father regretted that he could not provide a good inheritance for his children, but Forman declared in a 2017 interview: “They gave us faith in ourselves, in the basic goodness of humanity, and om our ability to survive.” For her, it was far more important than a large inheritance.

Forman first attended school at a convent near her house, but after enrolling, she finished her education at the Parktown Convent. She attended the Great Synagogue on Wolmarans Street, in Joubert Park.

career

After grade school, she earned a B.A. (Hons.) in psychology at the University of the Witwatersrand. A photographic model career in the United States of America beckoned, but she stayed in South Africa to become a motivational speaker, inspired by a seminar she attended there. At the time, she did such speaking at banks and other large companies in Johannesburg. One of the clients was an American cosmetics firm with overseas subsidiaries that offered marketing training.

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Therefore, in the mid-1970’s, she left for a week-long avant-garde course on human development sponsored by the subsidiary in partnership with the University of California, Los Angeles. After her return, the American cosmetics company closed its South African subsidiary and asked her, as their marketer, whether she would like to take it over as her own independent firm. At the time, she already had a successful five-day motivation seminar.

She had long before registered the trademark Reeva, but only began using it to market perfume. At the end of the first year, she was selling two perfumes, and she gradually grew a range of offerings to supplement the dissolved company’s products. By 1983, she had become a household name in South Africa, and the local subsidiary of Barclays Bank (now part of ABSA Group Limited) and the Public Relations Institute of South Africa (PRISA) jointly awarded her the title of Businesswoman of the Year. Hers was one of the first completely racially integrated firms in South Africa. Her motto at the time was what it is today: People are equal in potential if they have the will to succeed.

From 1985 to 1987, she was a member of the SABC board at the time that Riaan Eksteen was managing the broadcaster. She served with Mimi Coertse among others, but the SABC board was deemed too progressive for the government of the time, and after two years they were terminated. During a time of great, if short-lived, progress for the institution, she offered her five-day management course free for SABC employees.

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