Precious Motsepe

South African fashionista

Precious Moloi-Motsepe (born 2 August 1964) is a South African philanthropist and fashion entrepreneur. One of the richest women in South Africa she started her career as a medical practitioner, specializing in children and women’s health. In September 2019 she was elected Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, succeeding Graça Machel, and beginning her ten-year term on 1 January.

Precious Moloi-Motsepe Schwab Foundation Gala Dinner ((cropped)


  • Creating a culture of ambitious and strong-willed women requires solidarity among women, and especially the inclusion of men. From my childhood experiences I recognise that our existence is interdependent.
  • African consumers are now recognising their own designers are as valuable any of the brands they buy globally,"
  • as a young girl I always enjoyed the feel and look of clothing. Growing up in Soweto, you socialised at weddings and church – those were times when you could shine and put on your best outfit and I enjoyed that. I couldn’t sew to save my life at school, but when playing with dolls with my siblings and cousins, I had the fashion sense, in terms of knowing what looked good on the dolls. And the passion grew from there. So going into the fashion industry was an easy transition for me, because I felt I could make a difference by investing in the growth of industries that define who we are as a nation. The fashion and arts industry is important in that regard, as well as the way it employs thousands of people, such as fabric makers, seamstresses and beaders”.
  • I never agonised about not practising medicine. I believe you need to find things that you enjoy doing and explore them to the fullest, but don't get stuck with them. I don't believe in this myopic view of our careers, where you have to study something and then you have to work in that career for the next 50 years. It's like buying an expensive hammer and for the rest of your life you've got to be hammering in nails. I really don't believe that. I think medicine, in many ways, prepared me for many other things that I could do. Passion, hard work, honesty and respect for others is something I carry with me wherever I go. I hope that in 10 years' time I will go into something else. I believe in reinventing myself as a human being. There are people who want to stay in a career and explore it to the maximum, but I like change.
  • Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
  • Change, and advocacy, by men and women begins within our immediate household and workplace environments. Patriarchy creates emotional scars that can only be healed through constructive dialogue.[6]
  • What is needed is political will—men and women who are sensitive to and committed to promoting gender equality for the overall benefit of society."[7]
  • "Empowering women must include men"[8]
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