Dr. Richard Maponya died in the early hours of Monday after a short illness.t’s a sad day in South Africa as business pioneer
In a statement released by the Maponya family, they said funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.
“The family request some privacy during this time of grieving,” reads the statement.
Local celebrities have taken to social media to also pay tributes to the fallen businessman.
“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,” says DJ Oskido.
“Pioneer, legend, phenomenon and black excellence. Thank you for leading and inspiring. I never met you but I was touched and influenced. A great life lived. Robala ka kgotso,” says Cassper Nyovest.
“Legend! We shall follow in your footsteps, Sir. Rest in peace Richard Maponya” says DJ Euphonik.
“One of the greatest minds of our times has taken a final bow. Businessman extraordinaire, a visionary, the epitome of #BlackExcellence thank you Ntate Richard Maponya for using the 99 years God gave you to greatly impact lives around you. You did well,” says Khanyi Magubane.
“My goodness, news of the passing of Dr. Richard Maponya just came in. What a man, what an inspiration to the Black SAn community, an example of excellence. I’m sad. I remember how everyone around me wanted to be just like ‘uMaponya’ as a lot of us called him ekasi. #RIPMaponya,” wrote Metro FM’s Pearl Shongwe.
Dr. Richard Maponya was a trained teacher, he started his business career in the clothing industry, but was blocked by the apartheid government from opening a clothing store.
He then established a milk delivery service (using bicycles) in Soweto and by the 1970s owned a number of shops, petrol stations and car dealerships.
Dr. Maponya became the first owner of a black-owned BMW dealership in Soweto in the 1980s.
2007 saw Dr. Richard Maponya opening Maponya Mall in Soweto on land he bought in the 1970s. He also successfully resisted various attempts by the apartheid government to take the land away from him.
Maponya recently celebrated his 99th birthday on Christmas Eve.
Condolences to the Maponya family. Rest in Peace Baba.