Ex-IFP leader Buthelezi pays tribute to 'a giant who taught the nation to pursue their dreams'

14 January 2020 - 11:44
By Penwell Dlamini
Former IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Image: Antonio Muchave Former IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Former IFP leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi has described the late businesses icon Richard Maponya as a giant who taught the nation to pursue their dreams.

Speaking at Maponya's funeral in Soweto, Buthelezi said the late entrepreneur was more than just successful.

"It is one thing to take advantage of opportunities, it is quite another to create opportunities where there are none," said Buthelezi.

"He showed us what can be achieved if we set our minds to it and are prepared to put in long hours, hard work and consistent effort. He taught us how to pursue dreams," he said.

Buthelezi recalled how Maponya flew to Durban in 2018 just to propose a toast in his 90th birthday. "I was deeply honoured," he said.

Maponya's funeral is taking place at the University of Johannesburg which named its small business development department after him, the Dr Richard Maponya Institute For Entrepreneurship.

Among the dignitaries who have joined thousands to mourn Maponya's departure is President Cyril Ramaphosa, former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe.

Maponya died on January 6 just weeks after turning 99. He has been praised for his contribution to black business and being an inspiration to many entrepreneurs.