Mesego Maponyane, son of Marks Maponyane, completed his Media Studies degree at Wits only last year, yet has already been featured on Top Billing and named Cosmopolitan’s sexiest man, and is set on making his mark as a media personality.
Fondly known to other Witsies as Maps, he now lives in the mother city and is known for his modelling and television presenting. He is working on a new men’s wear suit range at present, leading the design team within local clothing brand, Augustine, as creative director. “It’s quite a step for me, but I’m excited to see what we can come up with.”
He also has plans to move back to Johannesburg to shoot a movie. But, he said, he was “unable to release any information about the movie at this moment”.
He has written columns for GQ, Glamour and advice pieces for Cosmo. His latest piece for Cosmo appears in the May issue under the headline The Big Question – about the “romance boundary” for men. He has also acted in art films and appeared in TV commercials.
Maponyane studied English, French, Media Studies and International Human Rights. “I enjoyed it very much because it was all academically orientated and that made it easier to work and study at the same time.”
He came from humble beginnings in Protea North, Soweto, where he lived until the age of four. His family later moved to Naturena in Johannesburg south. He attended St John’s College and King Edward Preparatory School.
“My parents taught me to earn everything I desired in life … I was very fortunate that they sacrificed a lot to send me to two great schools.”
Maponyane attributed the kind of person he is to his upbringing and the morals and values his parents instilled in him. “My parents were always hardworking, savvy and very supportive.”
Asked about his five year plan, he said he liked to “make plans by setting up a list of goals”, which could be achieved in a certain amount of time.
“It’s key to keeping me focused and preventing my head from getting lost in the clouds by delusions of looming grandeur.”
Ever the proud Witsie, Maponyane has kept up with campus news. He shared his opinion on the sexual harassment issue: “This is something that has occurred behind closed doors in institutions for decades … it is a bit of a surprise and somewhat of a let-down when it’s happening right under your nose with staff that you trust.”
Some of the things Maponyane enjoys best are travelling, writing, playing sport to keep fit, cooking and spending time with friends. He is also a keen fashion enthusiast and readily shares advice for men and women. He had these tips for Wits Vuvuzela:
“Don’t limit yourself on having set outfits or you will end getting bored of your clothes … Mix and match your clothes and wear your clothes with confidence and dress for your body type.”
And a final message for Witsies: “Challenge yourself, take few risks. Work out what you want, put in the hours, gain experience by being persistent and applying yourself, then make things happen.”
City Press 11 November 2011 Chit chat: Masego “Maps” Maponyane
City Press 3 Febuary, 2013 Scene city: Cosmo’s flesh for fantasy