Ramaphosa kids in spotlight

By SIPHELELE BUTHELEZI Time of article published Feb 25, 2018

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PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa is known as the “buffalo” man in some quarters and his penchant for wildlife is echoed by the new first family.

Iin pictures from the children’s social media accounts the Ramaphosa family are seen in the wild, in the company of gorillas and the rare Ugandan ankole longhorn cows.

One of the sons, Tumelo - who became a social media sensation this week and has had women swooning over his physique - runs a business that seeks to preserve wildlife, including buffaloes.

He also sells wildlife through his company StudEx Wildlife, a cryptocurrency-based business that seeks to preserve and protect endangered wildlife species from hunters, poachers, predators and disease.

Last year, the president sold rare ankole longhorn cows, buffaloes and antelopes, for a combined R13 million, according to a Bloomberg report.

Ramaphosa and his wife, Dr Tshepo Motsepe, have four children together: sons Andile and Tumelo and daughters Keneilwe (Kiki) and Mashudu.

Ramaphosa also has an older daughter, Tulisa, from his first marriage with the late Nomazizi Mtshotshisana, who died 10 years ago. They were divorced at her time of death.

With Ramaphosa taking over as the new sheriff at the Union Buildings, attention quickly turned to the president’s offspring.

Some women on social media have labelled oldest son Tumelo as the new “National Bae”.

“R1 million bounty for anyone who hooks me up with Tumelo “Yaka” Ramaphosa,” joked one Nkgono Neria on Twitter.

But the 30-year-old Tumelo quickly told her he was taken.

“I am not interested, I have a beautiful girlfriend,” wrote Tumelo in response.

However, he appeared to be enjoying the attention, responding to a number of women, while also having to deal with critics who were concerned about his tattoos.

“So what, you are not my mother. I’m not trying to be the president’s son. I’m an entrepreneur doing my own thing. I’m not trying to fit your perfect picture. My mother loves me with all them tats (tattoos); you don’t have to,” he said.

Tumelo appears the most vibrant of the Ramaphosa children, posting publicly on his Instagram page.

His sisters are more reserved, with private pages and profiles with limited information.

Like his father, Tumelo’s penchant for buffaloes and rare cattle beams through on his Instagram account - where he now has more than 4 000 followers.

He regularly posts pictures and videos with his girlfriend, Kelebogile Shomang, at the game reserve where the animals are bred.

The Ramaphosa girls have largely kept out of the public spotlight and little is known about them. A relative revealed they are students at the University of Cape Town. They attended high school at the prestigious Roedean College in Parktown, Johannesburg.

Andile, who has business interests in infrastructure development, got his MBA from Fudan in Shanghai and has a master's degree from New York University’s Stern School of Business. He does not say much on social media, but he did publicly come to Ramaphosa’s defence last year when claims surfaced that he was physically abusive towards his wife.

Relative Ben Ramaphosa said that the first children were hard working people.

“Their father never wanted them to rely on his businesses, so he taught them to stand up and build their own profiles,” said Ben.

“Even with the young girls, they are not spoilt brats, they respect everyone in the family,” he said.

Ben said that the Ramaphosa family met for a family gathering at the Ramaphosa’s Hyde Park home in Joburg last weekend.

It was the first time the family had met in the new year due to Ramaphosa’s ANC commitments.

At Ramaphosa family gatherings, no talk about politics is allowed, he said.

“When he (Cyril) is with the family, he just wants to relax and catch up about other things but not politics. We congratulated him for being the president of the country, but he didn’t want to chat more about it... He's has always been like that,” he said.

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