A trailblazer, business icon and an elegant dresser were some of the words used by family and friends in the business fraternity to describe the late Dr. Richard Maponya at his memorial service at the Mosaiek Teatro in Fairland, Randburg.

Dr Maponya, widely respected as the doyen of black business, passed away on Monday 6 January 2020, a few days after celebrating his 99th birthday.

Ladi Addelus who worked closely with Ntate Maponya said he had tenacity and set goals that he made sure were achieved at all cost.

“Papa was a great icon, we met briefly for the first time in 2011 when my then employer Barloworld called me to establish and run the Greenfield operation of the two dealerships in Soweto, Soweto Toyota and Volkswagen. I was amazed by his tenacity and handsome approach especially given his age at the time.

Addelus said he always told me that one only rests when they die and he kept true to those words.

“To demonstrate that he died with his boots on like he always predicted, I was with him on 2 January, 2020 where he was giving me instructions, from organizing meetings to discussing plans for the year.

“At his age his work rate was unbelievable. We always talked about the Sierra Leon’s proverb that, ‘the stomach does not go on holiday’. He had the memory of an elephant, his ability to remembernumbers and events was admirable.

Businessman, Herman Mashaba said he is the businessman he is today because of the example set by Dr Maponya.

“He was a family man, who viewed family as being the foundation to his success as a businessman, secondly, he valued education and skills development as a key to long term economic growth and development, he never shied away from taking risks because he was not afraid of failure and lastly Dr Maponya believed in the value of hard work and set an example for all of us on what can be achieved when you are willing to invest in time and effort to make it happen”, said Mashaba.

Speaking on behalf of the family, William Maponya said the business icon was passionate about education amongst other things.

“It is very sad, very difficult to acceptthat Dr Richard Maponya is no more”, said Maponya.

Source: Gauteng Province