Patrice Tlhopane Motsepe is one of South Africa’s most successful and well known entrepreneurs. He had to face more than his share of struggles to achieve the prominent position he holds in society- one of which was growing up during the apartheid era. He holds a unique place in African history, being the first ‘black billionaire’ and the one thing that really sets him apart is the fact that he has pledged half of his wealth to charity.
Motsepe had a very humble childhood working behind the counter of his father’s little grocery store, at the very young age of five. However, he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life stuck in a rut and decided to study law. He earned the distinction of being the first black partner at the corporate law firm of Bowman Gilfillan.
His father was originally a school teacher who decided to start his own business. Patrice learnt the basics of business and got his first real exposure to mining from his father. He was born in Soweto, which is actually where his mother grew up. He got his business skills from his father and his heart of gold from his mother. He says he never forgot how she would always give free food to the poor.
According to Forbes Magazine he is the fourth wealthiest South African man and the sixth wealthiest in Africa.
He has donated half of his wealth to rural development projects in Africa and to educational and health related charities. He is a member of ‘The Giving Pledge’- the group of billionaires who have vowed to give back to society.
We recognize the huge responsibility and duty that the Motsepe family has to poor, unemployed, disabled, women, youth, workers and marginalized South Africans. We also have an ongoing obligation of nation building, uniting black and white South Africans and contributing towards making Africa and the world a better place.
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