Elder sister - Dr Tshepo Ramaphosa

Little sister - Bridgette Radebe

Little brother - Patrice Motsepe

In his youth Patrice Motsepe used to transport crates of liquor in a Datsun E20 similar to this one on the photo.

The First Lady and her younger sisters used Sunbeam to polish the floors.
Illustration: Lesley Barnard

Girlhood First Lady


The Beat team   l   Views: 184

If there is someone nearer home with yesteryear fond memories of First Lady Dr Tshepo Ramaphosa (neé Motsepe), it is streetwise Bela-Bela township socialite, Julie Stewart.

Bra Julie, as he is affectionately known, is one of the few 1970s hostel boarders who had as his proud headmaster Dr Ramaphosa’s dad, the late ABC Motsepe, at Sekitla High School at the village of Mathibestad, outside Hammanskraal.

Stewart was also a student under the late legendary Nchaupe High School headmaster, the late Sam Moseneke, the father to Life Esidimeni presiding Judge Dikgang Moseneke.

Sekitla High School still stands intact at the village of Makapanstad, also outside Hammanskraal.

Stewart told The BEAT in a recent interview that while a student at Sekitla High School, he had distant memories of Motsepe bringing along, in his signature vintage cars, little boys and girls who he introduced as his kids to the boarding school boarders.

“I remember vividly the little boys and girls streaming out of the headmaster’s (Motsepe’s) car. They would all cling to his knee, leaping around and giggling,” Stewart explained.

Stewart said he remembered that among them was the more composed elder sister, the present-day First Lady, Dr Tshepo Ramaphosa.

The narrative around the Motsepes childhood years is a gripping story of a family shaped on downright work ethic.

Neighbours at the erstwhile family home in Mmakau have spoken about the family of businessman-cum-educator, ABC and his late wife Kay, who inculcated in their children the ethos of sheer hard work.

For instance, villagers in Mmakau have said during their childhood, the likes of Dr Ramaphosa washed the dishes and did other household chores such as polishing the floors with Sunbeam polish.

The younger present-day billionaire and Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club owner, Patrice, is better remembered in the village of Mmakau, driving around in a battered customised Datsun E20 minibus, transporting crates of beer from the Kay Motsepe Bottle Store to local shebeens.

Added Stewart: “At boarding school Mr Motsepe (headmaster) was a disciplinarian who nudged us to work hard on everything we did, from our studies to taking care of our own washing and ironing.”

The First Lady Ramaphosa was, just after President Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address, trending on social media as a hard-working woman and philanthrophist.

As for Julie Stewart, he has since relocated to Johannesburg for purposes of work, but is a frequent visitor back at Bela-Bela over the holidays and some weekends.  

4 months ago       22 February 2018