Kelly Mmashaa Ramokgopa was a man of many talents and had a heart of gold.
The news of his sudden death last week sent shockwaves among his friends and relatives in Diepkloof, Soweto, where he was born and raised.
He died at his home in Mokomene, Botlokwa, in Limpopo last Wednesday after a short illness.
An athlete, teacher and entrepreneur, Ramokgopa, 42, was from the Ramokgopa royal family and was an advocate of self-respect, discipline and perseverance.
He was a devoted marathon runner and competed in the Comrades and Two Oceans marathons. Though he never won, he managed to scoop some medals in the races. This made him an inspirational figure to budding athletes in Soweto and Mokomene, who looked up to him as a role model.
Ramokgopa graduated as a teacher at the then Soweto College of Education and taught at Leihlo Primary School in Pimville for 10 years.
He then ventured into the corporate world when he joined MTN as a manager, and later worked for OK Furnishers in Giyani.
Ramokgopa started his own IT company, which was a service provider for Multichoice and created jobs for the people of Giyani.
A devoted member of the Zion Christian Church , he is survived by his wife, Mashangu, three children and both parents. He will be buried at Mokomene Cemetery tomorrow.
The service will be held at home from 7am.