Richard Maponya Biography: House, Wife, Children, Age, Businesses, Net Worth, Companies, Story

Richard Maponya was a well-reputed businessman, entrepreneur, and an inspiration to many in South Africa. He was a pioneer and a leader who opened doors to many, despite facing numerous obstacles in his rise to fame and success. Maponya was highly regarded in the business world as he led with integrity and a strong work ethic. In this blog post, we will delve into his biography, house, wife, children, businesses, net worth, companies, and his story.

Early Life and Education

Richard John Pelwana Maponya was born on 24 December 1920 in Limpopo, South Africa. He was the second-born of six siblings. He attended school at Lovedale College, where he obtained his Junior Certificate, and later went to Adams College in Durban where he completed his Senior Certificate. He then enrolled at the University of South Africa (UNISA) for a Bachelor of Commerce degree.

Marriage and Family

Maponya married his wife, Marina Nompinti Thokozile, in 1955. Together they had four children, and their family was known for its warmth, love, and togetherness.


Richard Maponya started his career as a stock taker where he earned a meager amount of money. However, his hard work and determination saw him rise in the ranks to become a clerk. In 1952 he opened a grocery store, which he later grew and developed into a retail business.

In 1967, Richard Maponya became the first black man to own a dealership for a luxury brand car in South Africa, by acquiring a BMW franchise. This was a significant milestone in his career and a demonstration of his business acumen at the time when black people were not allowed to own or run businesses in South Africa.

Businesses and Companies

Maponya had several successful businesses and ventures. He owned the Maponya Mall in Soweto, which was the largest mall in South Africa, the Maponya Group Holdings, and Maponya Motor Holdings. He also owned a stake in Coca-Cola’s South African bottling business, a stake in the bread company Sasko, and had partnership dealings with the retail behemoth, Walmart.

Net Worth

Richard Maponya had an estimated net worth of 300 million South African Rand at the time of his passing. His businesses and investments proved to be not only profitable but also scalable and sustainable. He was among the richest black South Africans and served as an inspiration to many aspiring entrepreneurs.


Richard Maponya was known for his philanthropy and his passion for the community. He founded the Maponya Institute for Skills Development and the Maponya Educational Foundation, which provides educational opportunities for disadvantaged youth. He also provided mentorship and guidance to young entrepreneurs, encouraging entrepreneurship, and advocating for business and economic growth.


Richard Maponya will forever be remembered as a pioneer and trailblazer who paved the way for black entrepreneurs in South Africa. He was a man of vision, purpose, and immense influence, who left behind a legacy that will continue to inspire and motivate generations to come. His life serves as a testament to the power of hard work, determination, and resilience.


Richard Maponya passed away on January 6, 2020, at the age of 99, after complications arising from pneumonia. His passing was mourned by many in South Africa and around the world. He left a rich legacy and an indelible mark on the world of business and entrepreneurship.

Final Thoughts

Richard Maponya was a giant of a man who proved that anything was possible with hard work, perseverance, and a strong will. His life was a testament to the spirit of entrepreneurship and the power of purpose and influence. He gave hope to many who felt that success was out of reach and demonstrated that with determination, anything was possible. May his legacy continue to inspire future generations of entrepreneurs and leaders to break barriers and reach for the stars.