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Soweto business owners praise Richard Maponya for helping them grow

Maponya was passionate about business and developing skills in areas that were largely neglected.

Late South African businessman Richard Maponya. Picture: Linkedin @UniversityofJohannesburg

JOHANNESBURG - The late Richard Maponya is being remembered in Soweto by those he inspired with small business owners describing him as a selfless individual who helped others to grow.

Maponya died in the early hours of Monday morning following a short illness.

He was 99.

The man that some christened "the grandfather of Soweto business" spent the better part of his life investing in the township, even opening the multi-million rand mall that bore his name.

Maponya was passionate about business and developing skills in areas that were largely neglected.

And throughout the years he inspired many.

Tebogo Mohlamabe is a small business owner who runs a fast food joint in Diepkloof.

“Ntate Maponya was one of our mentors in South Africa, a black businessman.”

Mike Ndaba is a new entrepreneur who started a barbershop 12 months ago.

He credits Maponya for his inspiration and where he would like to take his business in the future.

“Maponya has encouraged us a lot so we can also grow. He has built us a mall - we used to go to town but now we just walk.”

Many people have spoken with pride about the business icon who always looked out for those below him, even when he rose through the ranks.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

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