For a wealthy person like Joseph Maotla Nhlapo, many would have expected him to be bigheaded.
But he was not - he was, in fact, only like your average man next door.
I became close to Nhlapo when he invited me to be a guest at his magnificent Maotla Boutique Hotel and Spa, the hotel was once his house.
He owned an event management company and had found it difficult to find accommodation for his clients as they wanted exclusive and secure venues for their conferences.
Because of the limited venues, Nhlapo decided to turn his house into a hosting facility.
Born in Tsakane, Brakpan, on January 30 1967, he was the youngest child of the late Jacob and Elizabeth Nhlapo.
He attended primary and secondary school in Tsakane and later completed his tertiary education at the University of Zululand with a BA Honours.
He later completed his Masters degree in Communications at Unisa.
He moved to Pretoria in 1994 where he was employed by the Department of Water Affairs, GCIS and later the Department of Communications.
He then established a company, Impact Communications, specialising in communications, printing, and events management.
In the past few years he founded Mzansi Interiors, a furniture supply company and the recently-launched illustrious Maotla Five-star Boutique Hotel & Spa at Grootfontein Estates in Pretoria East.
He is survived by his wife Claudia, daughter Lehlohonolo, two brothers and a sister.
Claudia said her husband was a loving friend and mentor whose spirit of strength, support, wisdom and kindness will be greatly missed.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, at his hotel, 323 Rosemary Street, Grootfontein Country Estates.
The service starts at 8am and the cortege leaves for Brakpan cemetery at 10am.