Rasta painted a portrait of Richard Maponya at the businessman’s funeral on Tuesday.

Rasta painted a portrait of Richard Maponya at the businessman’s funeral on Tuesday.


Just when social media users thought Lebani “Rasta” Sirenje and his funeral paintings had been left in 2019, he surfaced at Ntate Richard Maponya’s funeral on Tuesday and got the internet all excited.

Rasta was among mourners at the funeral of the influential late Soweto businessman held at the University of Johannesburg Soweto Campus on Tuesday.

Ntate Maponya , who was 99, died last week after a short illness. He was renowned for building a business empire despite apartheid era restrictions.

He was the founding president of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry, started in 1964 to serve the interests of small businesses.

The service was attended by President Cyril Ramaphosa and former president Thabo Mbeki. Speakers at the service included Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Ramaphosa and TV talk show host Felicia Mabuza- Suttle.

Seated in front, Rasta painted a portrait of the influential businessman, deciding to immortalise Ntate Maponya in his white suit.


While social media was flooded with tributes and messages for Ntate Maponya, Rasta’s painting also caught the attention of tweeps, and soon he was trending for his work of art.

While some felt he had improved, others felt it was time to call a commission of inquiry into why he always gets the funeral painter tender.