Richard Maponya Biography – Richard Maponya Wiki
Richard Maponya, born Richard John Pelwana Maponya was a South African businessman and property developer.
Although trained as a teacher, Maponya started working in the 1950s at a clothing company seeking an educated black person to sell garments to miners and rural people. The manager gave him soiled clothing and cloth samples, which he sold in his spare time, allowing him to build up capital. When his patron retired in 1956, his supply of second-hand clothing ended and he resigned.
Around 1956, while living in Soweto, Maponya wanted to open Soweto’s first retail clothing store, but was denied a licence. In 1957, he went for legal advice to Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo, who then ran Johannesburg’s first black law firm, but they were unable to help as their own conditions were too restrictive.
Fortunately, the apartheid-era bureaucrats did give Maponya a licence to sell foodstuffs, which were to form the kernel of his fortune.
He became a member of Johannesburg African Chamber of Commerce in the mid-1950s when it was formed and finally become its president. In the early 60s the Johannesburg African Chamber of Commerce under Maponya initiated the drive to unite small businessmen nationally. This initiative led to the formation of National African Chamber of Commerce (NACOC) in 1964. Maponya became the founding president of NACOC from 1964 to 1966.
In 1979 the government of the day required NACOC to disband and re-establish itself along ethnic lines. The leadership of NACOC refused, stood their ground and opted for a federation, becoming the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce (NAFCOC).
Maponya set up the Dube Hygienic Dairy. At a time when Soweto lacked electricity or refrigerators, he dispatched deliverymen on bicycles speedily to transport customers’ milk at peak hours. By the 1970s, when regulations had relaxed slightly, he set up a butchery, two grocery stores and a restaurant under the licence of a ‘native eating housekeeper’.
Maponya welded those businesses into a successful filling station and, in time, a General Motors dealership. When that American motor company disinvested from South Africa in 1987, he pursued other businesses, including supermarkets, bottle-stores and bus transport. He also ran a successful BMW dealership in Soweto, but grew frustrated at the small allocation of vehicles allowed him, which he said he was able to sell within a week.
When Coca-Cola disinvested from South Africa, Maponya put together a group of black businesspeople, formed the company Kilimanjaro Holdings (Pty) Ltd, and put in a successful bid for a bottling plant in East London. Maponya was elected chairperson.
Most recently, Maponya has been involved in the property business, with a focus on building offices and small factories. His group, which boasts a logo portraying a trumpeting elephant, has offices in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Plettenberg Bay.
Maponya was awarded the Order of the Baobab in Silver for his excellent contribution to entrepreneurship despite oppressive apartheid conditions, and for serving as an inspiration to disadvantaged South Africans striving for business success.
Richard Maponya Age
Maponya was born on 24 December 1921, in Limpopo, South Africa. He died on 6 January 2020. He was 99 years old.
On Richard Maponya’s 99th birthday, President Cyril Ramaphosa wished him a happy birthday on Twitter. The President tweeted: “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.”
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. pic.twitter.com/ZgVpmGAuHL
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) December 26, 2019
Richard Maponya Wife
Maponya was married to his wife Marina, a cousin of Nelson Mandela.
Richard Maponya Children
Maponya and his wife Marina had 8 children and 18 grandchildren.
Richard Maponya Net Worth
Richard Maponya’s net worth was estimated to be over R400 million.
Richard Maponya Death
Maponya died on 6 January 2019 following a battle with a short illness. The Maponya family confirmed his death in a statement. The family said in the statement, “It is with great sadness that the Maponya family informs of the passing of Dr. Richard in the early hours of Monday 6 January, following a battle with a short illness. The family requests privacy during this time of grieving, and funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.”
Richard Maponya Cause of Death
Richard Maponya’s cause of death was revealed.