Now that Jacob Zuma has finally resigned and Cyril Ramaphosa is set to become acting president, Dr Motsepe is set to be the new First Lady.
The Motsepe-Ramaphosa family is pretty quiet and has only been rocked by one big scandal that happened last year where Cyril confessed to having an affair with a medical practitioner eight years before according to News24.
Tshepo herself wasn’t even very well-known before the news broke and we heard her statement about the infidelity where she voiced her unwavering support of her husband and said that they were happily married.
So who exactly is Tshepo Motsepe?
Well, for starters, she’s a super successful doctor who has a Master of Public Health in Maternal Child Health and Ageing at Harvard School of Public Health and she also holds a Social Entrepreneurship Programme certificate from the Gordon Institute of Business Science, according to the Citizen.
She has worked in both public and private hospitals locally as well as in Zimbabwe.
She also has a charitable side since she works with several non-profit organisations and is also chairperson of the African Self Help Trust (ASHA), non-executive director for the Wits Health Consortium and Hospice, a patron of the South African Civil Society for Women’s, Adolescents and Children’s Health, a patron of the Students Sponsorship Programme, and is a former board member of both the Vaal Reefs Disaster Trust and the Kids Haven Foundation.
According to this article on News24, she also helped support a young girl named Kgothatso Molefe through school.
If Tshepo’s surname sounds familiar that’s because she is the sister of mogul and billionaire Patrice Motsepe and the daughter of the late Chief Augustine Butana Chaane Motsepe, both mining magnates and Mamelodi Sundowns owners.
Patrice is of course married to Precious Moloi-Motsepe, the uber stylish philanthropist who is the founder and CEO of African Fashion International (AFI).
Then there’s Tshepo’s sister, Bridgette Radebe, who is married to Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe.
That’s a political-financial-fashion empire we’d all love to join as family. Any eligible offspring we wonder?
Tshepo and Cyril also have four children together.
The couple currently live in Fresnaye, Cape Town at the foot of Lion’s head on a stretch of land that cost R30 million according to City Press. They also have a family home in Chiawelo, Soweto. There’s no news as to whether the two will move to their family home or anywhere else after Cyril is sworn in as President of South Africa.
What about the other First Ladies and how will she compare?
This certainly is a very transformative time in the nation’s history after nine years under a president who was accused of many things including corruption and rape.
The now former president’s fifth wife, Thobeka Madiba-Zuma, started her own foundation in order to talk to women about breast cancer and the risks the disease poses to all African women. She also formed the African First Ladies’ Forum with Swaziland’s first lady Nomsa Matsebula and the first lady of Uganda, Janet Museveni, back in 2009 according to Destiny. And while this is great, Thobeka seems to be getting more attention for her captions on Instagram than she is for her charitable work.
Then there’s Zanele Dlamini Mbeki. A feminist and women’s rights activist, Zanele convened the South African Women in Dialogue in 2003, which was designed to enable women to fully participate in the country’s development. She was also involved in the ANC Women’s League and edited the Voice Of Women. She was very politically involved but very private and refused interviews when her husband became president.
Graça Machel, the late Nelson Mandela’s widow is an international advocate for women's and children's rights and in 1997 was made a British dame for her humanitarian work. She has been chancellor of the University of Cape Town since 1999 and was named president of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London in 2012. In 2016, Graca was named Chancellor of the African Leadership University, a role that she still holds today.
While we already know that Tshepo is just as charitable as the other former First Ladies, we hope to see her get really involved with the coming and goings of our country even if she does shy away from the limelight. It would be great to have a First Lady of the likes of Michelle Obama who really championed (fitness and health education for school-goers) different projects and made an effort to make the White House seem open to her people.
What she wears matters too. We would also love to see her support our fashion industry by wearing local designers and brands like the former FLOTUS did for her country. It would also be useful to frame her own identity as she gets cast even further into the spotlight.
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