- President Cyril Ramaphosa has wished renowned businessman Ntate Maponya a happy birthday
- The 99-year-old is famous for how he built an empire during the apartheid-era
- Maponya is still going strong despite his age, still standing strong and independent
Ntate Richard Maponya has turned 99 with President Cyril Ramaphosa wishing the business mogul well.
SowetanLIVE reports that Maponya's claim to fame was a thriving business empire during the apartheid regime.
A teacher before venturing into the grocery store business, Maponya opened up shop in Soweto during the 50s.
This eventually led to a butchery, liquor shop, supermarket, car dealership, and even a petrol station.
His crowning jewel and namesake is the massive Maponya Mall, also in Soweto. When it opened in 2007, Nelson Mandela himself cut the ribbon.
To mark the occasion, President Cyril Ramaphosa commented on social media that:
"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."
TimsLIVE reports that the elderly entrepreneur is still driven by South Africa's need for people like himself:
“Why should I retire? We need to create jobs for our people. That is my primary objective. I have been blessed beyond measure and am able to put food on the table; I want the same for others.”
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