We celebrate and honour the lives of Ramakodi Josiah Mampuru and Maphoko Deborah Mampuru. They led in love, stood firm in wisdom and followed God as parents, grandparents and respected members of the church. Instilling their strong values of family, wisdom and love, Ramakodi and Maphoko were a pillar of strength and guidance in their communities and continued to grow in their knowledge and faith. We ask you to join us in celebrating Mama and Daddy’s seats in their eternal home.
Read by Mahlako Mampuru, Molebogeng Moleleki and Maredi Letsoalo
I, Josiah Ramakodi Mampuru, son of Motlokwe and Nape Mampuru from Senotlelo, was born on the 05th of April 1940. My formative years were steeped in the custom of herding and spending time in pastures. The freedom of listening to lowing animals and bristling grass sharpened my keen musical ear. The tunes of nature helped quietly distill my appreciation of subtle sounds and rhythms. Those that know me appreciate how pedantic I am about nuanced fine detail. The Arts define who I am. I enjoyed creating artefacts, writing and creating music.
I started schooling at Mokgwaneng Primary school, and because of our background we went to school every other day and herded on the other days. Mamelodi came calling and I responded joyfully. My thirst for knowledge was quenched at Mamelodi High School where I immersed myself in debate, music and soccer. I particularly honed in on languages and history.
I was mentored by the great Rev. Mokgoba in the deep roots of Pan Africanism for which I devised a cunning plan to escape the wretched Apartheid Regime by hiding in the belly of the beast when they came on their hunting jaunts for student activists. My father was a cook at the military base at Voortrekker Hoogte and I took my nightly trips on the train to hide in the barracks where my father and the staff lived. These Houdineous tricks helped me escape prison where the treacherous chains of the oppressors kept some of my compatriots prisoner for decades for demanding and insisting on acknowledging their right to dignity. This fuelled my passion for justice with this theme weaved as a golden thread through all facets of my life.
My passion for languages and linguistics led me to acquiring a teaching qualification at Bethesda whose vocation led me on many a fruitful adventures, best of which was meeting the love of my life and creating a life of dreams.
I, Maphoko Deborah Mampuru, daughter of Maredi and Kataila Letsoalo from Komaneng, was born on the 16th of January 1950. My yearning for education was ignited at a very young age. Whilst living with my maternal grandmother at the age of 3 to 4, I followed my older cousins to Thune Primary School, snuck into the school yard and listened to the lessons from outside the window. I then submitted my work as per teacher’s instructions and to her surprise, the ‘unknown’ pupil would get full marks. This marked the beginning of a journey of excellence, a yearning for knowledge and a work ethic par none.
My parents brought me back to Pretoria to join them in Lady Selbourne, whose dream was short lived when the oppressive Apartheid regime saw it fit in their flawed wisdom to uproot families to barren lands of township settlements in Mamelodi, Soshanguve, Ga-Rankuwa and Tembisa. I finished my high school career at Mamelodi High school after which I went to Hebron to pursue a teaching qualification. Destiny brought me back to Mamelodi where I started teaching at Rebane Laka Secondary School. Being a young teacher might render one to be seen as a peer and thus earning respect from the students had a potential be a tall order. My soft, humble and firm nature brought my pupils closer to me as we shared in the purpose of delivering excellence. We chased what is colloquially known as “Black excellence” in the early 80s and we took no prisoners in the process. This further cemented the dream of that little girl listening in on a lesson of people older than her.
Punching above my weight was a norm for me so much so that it became a new baseline. Teaching taught me how to navigate treacherous waters while holding people’s hands as we emerge victorious on the other side. Lifelong friendships were forged, best of which was with the love of my life.
Destiny, kismet, serendipity…when the stars are so aligned that nothing could keep us away from each. For me as Ramakodi, what are the chances that my bother, Ramogolo Duke would be friends with Caiphus Mahlaba who is married to your sister, Mamogolo Sarah? You then happen to walk with your sister to my brother’s house and I saw the most beautiful angel I had ever laid my eyes on. I had to get to know you. Motho wa ka. Lerapo la pelo ya ka. My Debbs…
Ao Mohlakwana! Noko! Tatago matšobana a ka. Monthati bošego le mosegare. Moratiwa wa ka. Re agile lapa ka lerato, Monareng. Ra swarana, ra rwalana go tšohle re phekela matlabutlabu a diphefo mmogo. Ra ithuta mmogo, re itshwarelleditše ka Morena. What a journey it has been! Our children, grandchildren and siblings were our everything. We loved, lived, cried, had fun, sang and danced together. We are grateful for the relationships we have built along the way through our interactions in the education, religious and societal spheres. We have gained more than we have given. We marvel in the love that is being showered on us. We lived in love, we leave our earthly vessels in love. We transition in love. Our love transcends…
Robalang le ikhutšeng Dinoko! Robalang le ikhutšeng Banareng! Robalang le ikhutšeng ka lerato!