Richard Maponya – A beacon of hope to millions

Sad news breaking this morning. Richard Maponya – an icon of black businesspeople in South Africa and beyond, died in the early hours of this morning. Maponya was one of the trailblazers in his country who inspired generations to fight for a place in business. Maponya’s was born in the tiny township of Lenyenye in Limpopo in northern South Africa. He moved across the province to Polokwane where he trained as a teacher. Like many young men of his day he journeyed south to Johannesburg in search of work. The then apartheid laws were stacked against him but Maponya, with sheer grit and determination, worked his way up in business regardless. He started with butcheries and grocery stores and crowned it with opening up Soweto’s first shopping mall at the dawn of democracy in 1994. In a colourful life he dined with the Queen and could count friends from Bill Clinton to Nelson Mandela and Nicky Oppenhiemer. One of his many friends, former Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba joins CNBC Africa to talk about the legacy of Richard Maponya.


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