Richard Maponya being interviewed by the star at his home in Hyde Park.
Picture: Ziphozonke Lushaba
Richard Maponya being interviewed by the star at his home in Hyde Park. Picture: Ziphozonke Lushaba

Celebs and fans pay tribute to Dr Richard Maponya

By Entertainment Reporter Time of article published Jan 6, 2020

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Local celebs such as Cassper Nyovest, Oskido, Somizi, Felicia-Mabuza-Suttle, Romeo Khumalo join the scores of South Africans paying tribute to the late Dr Richard Maponya.

Dubbed the great-grandfather of black business, the entrepreneur and property developer, best known for building the multi-million Maponya Mall in Soweto, passed on Monday morning after a short illness.

Condolences continue to pour in for the business mogul who celebrated his 99th birthday on December 24.

Taking to different social media platforms, local stars hailed Maponya as a "pioneer" and a business giant who made an immense contribution to the South African economy.

Radio and TV personality Somizi Mhlongo paid a heartfelt tribute to the fallen business giant, he wrote: "One day I'll tell my grand kids that this man right here is face of black excellence when there was no hope that a black person and success can be in one sentence. 

"I'm cartoony sad but happy to have lived in yo era and I know that ur at peace coz God blessed u with amazing 99 years of an amazing journey. 

Through u papa We Are......I am coz u first memory of the name maponya as a child was going to maponya super market in dube to do groceries. How it was a status to be seen carrying those plastic bags coming out of a taxi. The pride on the faces of black ppl coming from a black owned super market.not having to go to town. Way back before there was woolies there was you papa....REST PAPA REST #riprichardmaponya".

Businessman and musician Cassper Nyovest said: “Pioneer,  legend , phenomenon and black excellence. Thank you for leading and inspriing. Never met you but i was touched and influenced. A great life lived. Robala ka kgotso. #RIPRichardMaponya.

Music producer and record label owner Oskido posted: "Richard Maponya was The Don, a father figure of black business who inspired me about the importance of ownership in a time when black excellence was a crime."

Businesswoman and former talk show host Felicia Mabuza-Suttle also paid a moving tribute to late media mogul and shared: "I can't believe it. Got the call I had never expected to get from the Maponya family. Papa has gone to join his beloved wife, #MarinaMaponya.

On Dec 24, I called him to wish him a happy 99th birthday & I promised to be home for his 100th birthday. End of an era indeed. RIP Pops."

Businessman and former media personality Romeo Khumalo paid his respects: "Lives of great men all remind us. We can make our lives sublime. And, departing, leave behind us. Footprints on the sands of time - Henry Longfellow. Deep condolences to the Maponya family on the passing of a giant in our lifetime. Rest in Power Ntate Maponya."

More tributes continued to pour as Mzansi remembered Dr Maponya.

Maponya’s business career spanned over 50 years. He began in the retail sector in the 1950s when he and his wife Marina opened a milk distribution company in Soweto. 

Over the years, their business empire included interests in retail, automotive, filling stations and property development.

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