Prominent businessman, Ntate Richard Maponya celebrates 99th birthday

2019-12-26 18:29
Maponya Mall in Soweto. (Ayi Leshabane)

Maponya Mall in Soweto. (Ayi Leshabane)

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Prominent businessman and mogul, Ntate Richard Maponya recently celebrated his 99th birthday on Christmas Eve.

President Cyril Ramaphosa took an opportunity to send his best wishes on Boxing Day encouraging South Africans to "research the life story of this great legend".

"Let me take this opportunity to wish Ntate Richard Maponya a happy 99th birthday.

"I urge young South Africans to research the life story of this great legend, and draw lessons from how he overcame adversity to become one of the greatest pioneers and success stories of our time," Ramaphosa tweeted.


Maponya who was born in Limpopo village of Lenyenye in 1926 is best known as a property mogul and businessman that built an empire despite the restrictions he faced, as a Black entrepreneur living in apartheid South Africa.

ALSO READ: Soweto's most humble giant... a tribute

The man dubbed "Soweto's most humble giant" previously served as as a member of the Urban Bantu Council.

He also served as the founding member and the first president of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce in the 1960s.

His entrepreneurial journey with his wife Marina began by opening small grocery shops in Soweto.

This later grew into bigger ventures such as setting up a funeral parlour, bus services, motor dealerships, a BMW franchise and petrol stations.

In 2007, he opened the popular Maponya Mall located in Kilpspruit, Soweto in Gauteng which houses close to 200 stores and a cinema complex.

The construction of the shopping mall is one of his biggest projects to date, a joint venture with property group Zenprop, Drum reported.

Birthday wishes continue to pour in for the legend:

Former Mayor of the City of Johannesburg and founder of "Black Like Me", Herman Mashaba referred to Maponya as one of the most influential entrepreneur's of his time.

"One of the most Inspirational Entrepreneur of my time. Happy birthday Ntate Richard Maponya. You have positively touched my life to believe that it is was possible, and indeed it was," he tweeted on Tuesday.


Read more on:    johannesburg
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