Like every other public figure whose life would make a perfect rags-to-riches story, Supra Mahumapelo was once looked up to by the average South African as one that would help liberate society from all the ills that had overcome it.
A former herd boy in his village, Mahumapelo worked his way up through the ranks of the African National Congress and rose to become one of the most respected politicians in the North West Province, an economically vibrant region that is boosted by the mining of gold, uranium, platinum, and diamond. He served the region in various capacities before rising to become its 5th Premier.
Things, however, did not turn out to be as his people had expected as the region suffered from poor governance practices‚ incompetence‚ and corruption that led to a number of protests and his subsequent resignation from the provincial government in 2018.
Supra Mahumapelo Biography
Supra Mahumapelo was born Supra Obakeng Ramoeletsi Mahumapelo on the 7th of June 1968 in Manamolela, a tiny village located in the former Western Transvaal, now part of the North West Province. His father, Stephen Kalagongwe Mahumapelo, was an unsuccessful entrepreneur in Moruleng while his mother, Agnes Matlakala Bereng, made a living as a domestic worker.
According to his educational records, the young boy attended Marotse Primary School which is located in the village he grew up. He would later go on to attend Tlotlego Middle School in the now Atamelang Township, a few kilometers away from his village. For his High School education, Mahumapelo attended both Phatshima High School in Atamelang and Kgamanyane High School in Moruleng, graduating in 1988.
After graduating High School, Supra Mahumapelo acquired a National Diploma in Commercial Practice at Technikon Northern Transvaal in Soshanguve, now Gauteng Province. He then attended the University of South Africa where he got a Certificate in Public Finance and Economics. Not one to let things lie at the minimum, he got a Masters Degree in Political Economy at the former University of Port Elizabeth now called Nelson Mandela Metro University.
Mahumapelo’s first foray into politics was through his friend, Esiah Mali, in 1983. Three years later, he was given the job of recruiting people into the ANC by Cde Ndleleni Duma in the Moruleng area. As a member of the South African National Students Congress (SANSCO), he was able to use his influence in the student’s congress to recruit comrades at school as well as from his home in Atamelang and the surrounding villages to join the ANC.
While performing his role, he met the late Steve Segale and the late Victor Sefora, the leader of the Seoposengwe Party, who both saw something promising in him.
In 1994, Supra Mahumapelo was appointed as an ANC Provincial Deputy Elections Co-ordinator in Klerksdorp. The following year, he was elected as the Provincial Chairperson of the ANCYL in NW. From 1995 to 2004, the ANC employed him as the provincial Political Education Secretary.
In 2005 and 2008, he was elected as the ANC Provincial Secretary and in 2011 he was elected as the ANC Provincial Chairperson.
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Details of His Wife and Family
Kule Mahumapelo and Christina Kgari are listed as being Supra Mahumapelo’s wives. Kule appears to be the politician’s first wife who appears alongside her husband at public events. It is not clear when exactly the pair got married and they do not have any children together. Kule is reported to run a foundation that works in partnership with the South African Social Security Agency.
Christina Kgari, on the other hand, is reported to be his second wife. The couple wedded in 1996 and have welcomed four children; two boys and two girls, to the world.
Other Facts About Him
1. In 1990, Supra Mahumapelo was expelled for engaging in political activities. He was further arrested on several occasions with other student activists by the Pretoria police.
2. The late Steve Segale gave him the responsibility of translating the Freedom Charter into Setswana. Segale was said to have done so in order to instill discipline in the young hot-headed politician.
3. Supra Mahumapelo is a very good singer. He started singing in the Methodist Church in his village during Sunday school sessions and also participated in his school’s choir. His mother is also reported to have been a good singer. She was a part of a band in Klerksdorp in the 80s and would perform during the weekends.
4. Following in the footsteps of his father, Mahumapelo is a successful entrepreneur. He started the Diphateng Tourism Enterprise in 2007 as well as a chicken business among other things. He has also established an NGO (YES – Youth Entrepreneurship Style) whose objective is to assist young people in South Africa, specifically the North West Province, to develop entrepreneurial skills.