Interview Part 1: Maps Maponyane Reveals, Detailed Long form Bio

When one is born under the spotlight of a famous parent. It’s usually assumed that most of their achievements no matter how big or small were somehow handed to them. The thing about society is that we base a lot of “facts” on speculation, the usual; he said, she said.

Masego Maponyane knowingly or otherwise is brought up quite regularly in these discussions and 9 out 10 times the poor guy isn’t around to either defend himself or set the record straight. The truth is that you cannot ignore Maps as a brand, a face and we came to realize as the brains of the operations.

So we sought to ask the “right” and let him dispel the myths.

Q & A:

Twiice: Maps thanks for this interview, can you tell us who you are what it is you do?

Maps: My name is masego maps maponyane. I work in fashion, media, entertainment. I do TV presenting, acting, scriptwriting, fashion design, creative consulting, MC’ing, host parties, and I’m a voice over artist.I am a serial entrepreneur. I’m a businessman more than anything else. I have a couple of tech companies that I’m heavily involved in. One in CPT and one in JHB, we develop apps. I have a champagne in Franschoek. My business partner and I have a fashion brand. A Luxury accessories brand which we sell across the States and Europe and we have a few niche clients in SA. I’ve got a couple of passion projects in the philanthropic side of things.

I’m a bit of a nerd, I prefer the unassuming side of things, not to be loud about things, just to get stuff done. I have a young desk at Investec. I work there a couple of times during the week. I’m the Investec private banking ambassador. I assist them with CSI and stuff.

Okay, cool, but where did it all start? You didn’t just wake up knowing you would be this celebrated, public figure. When and how did you transition from Masego to Maps?
Maps Maponyane brown jacket

Maps: Originally I grew up in Soweto, Protea. Moved to Naturena. People had the perception that because my father played football. They thought we were well off. Unfortunately, he grew up in a time when his salary was around R600 a month. So, my parents worked hard and made a lot of sacrifices. They took out numerous loans to take me to the schools that I went to. When I was done with Matric, that was that. We needed to sort ourselves out. There were no two ways about it I needed to make my own plan, I needed to get myself through varsity. I took a gap year to raise funds to pay for tuition and books.

I started thinking about what I could be good at. I knew I loved talking, I loved people, I loved sports and just loved to communicate and also loved being a facilitator between 2 groups of people, delivering a message in a more articulate way that could be understood and enjoyed better. I started to go to audition after audition. Trying to find a slot somewhere on a show, and eventually an ex school teacher of mine had said, “listen there’s a school boy rugby show on Supersport. There are having auditions I recommended that they possibly look at you. The audition is next week; do you think you’d be able to make it? I said thank you, I’m trying everything right now. I got that audition. I’ve always wanted to get into TV presenting. I started field reporting for them, they would send me around. I’d do commentating.

On the side I needed to make some extra cash, I always had an interest in fashion, so I went to SA fashion week and spoke to the director Lucilla Booyzen. I asked her if I could please assist her in anyway. She hired me as a PA. That’s how I started getting an eye into the fashion world. I was running around helping her put things together and sorting out her schedule and stuff like that and a couple of seasons later she’d given me a supervision role.

Eventually her assistant director to fashion week and I was getting exposed to so many different types of people. If I can backtrack a little bit, when I was a presenter people had suggested maybe you should try some modelling. And I thought why not? A friend of mine had linked me to a photographer, who was looking to up his portfolio and with that we did a photoshoot and I got pictures I could take to agencies. Joined an agency afterwards, but at this agency nothing was happening there and couple of months later this guy was like there’s a brand for the 2010 world cup who wants you to do a billboard campaign for them and they wanted to see me, we met and they loved me. We had a shoot My first advertising campaign or modelling campaign was billboards all around the country, actually the left side of the Orlando towers in an animated version of me blowing a Kuduzela, a campaign for a bank and that’s been up there for 7 years now and that was pretty dope!

From there, I’ve always been very driven and I never take 2nd best. My agency wasn’t really doing anything. They’d always say I’m too commercial plus I wear glasses, I’m never gonna get any work. So I left them, they were like the biggest agency but I believed I’d rather join people who believe, people who see my vision and who would work for me. This agency I found was like 3 months old but they sounded so good on the phone. I’m about relationships and energies. A lot of the time the people closest to me say I’m never going to be stupidly wealthy because I’m too strict on energies, if ethically I don’t like you as a human being we cannot work together, t’s as simple as that. I joined this agency and then I started going to auditions with their representation, while I was still doing the school boy rugby gig, while I was doing SA fashion Week. Then I started to do print campaigns, catalogues, corporates plus I’d do runway shows. As the years progressed I went to varsity, while I did full time presenting, full time modelling and helping out at SA Fashion week.

Down the line, fast forward I’ve done about 45 TVCs and different print campaigns and stuff, It’s been fun I think I l enjoyed it more being sort of shooting under the radar. People think I just showed up over night all of a sudden but I’ve beeeeeen there.

Twiice: I find it funny you should say that; because that leads to my next string of questions. People talk in the streets and whenever you’re mentioned your father’s name pops up. People assume you just go to auditions and you throw your pops’ name in there and doors open. How do you address those rumours if you even address them at all?

Maps: I don’t address them at all. People who know me, worked with me. Even my friends, I’ve got friends who’ve been my friends for about 6-10 years who had no idea. They only found out now It’s something I never bring up. At the start of my time in the industry, like, the first 5 years or so I literally never went with my surname at all. I went as just Maps wouldn’t have a surname at all so people don’t put 2 and 2 together, people never knew before. Secondly, in this industry it means absolutely nothing at all. It’s not like I’m on the soccer field or something it’s not like my dad is Tyson Beckford, so I’m now I’m getting modelling gigs because I played soccer or whatever. If you can’t do it, you can’t do it. It would be stupid to let people who can’t, do it.
Maps hi res 1

For the longest time I just managed to build my name rightfully and once I thought I got to that point.

Built up the credibility and a respectable work ethic…

Now I won’t deny the association. The same guy who apparently has helped is still like “you’re doing well my son but I didn’t pay for this” but we still like out there trying to make our parent proud.

Twiice: Wow! That is a mouthful and we are only just 2 questions in. I think I’ll reserve some of the interesting stuff for part 2 of the interview.

Part 2 drops next week friday.