Katlego “Kat” Mafokate gives us a tour de force of show jumping through the historical archives of her grandfather, Enos Mosotho Mafokate – Soweto’s trailblazing first black South African show jumper and a founder of a riding school…

Enos Mafokate – popularly known as “Kgosi Ya Dipere” (the king of horses) – is the first black South African and European show jumper and founder of Enos Mafokate Equestrian Foundation (EMEF) in Soweto. He overcame racial barriers in the equestrian sport and equine sector.

*** For the love of horses ***

Born in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg, South Africa, on 15 February 1944, to a builder Alpheus Mafokate and domestic worker, Maria Rapholo Mafokate who were married around 1937. His early working experience was harsh. He worked at Prinsloo farm, where he would milk cows at 4am and 3pm, and riding at the back of the vans with milk cans. He had also worked at Rivonia dairy farm, filling milk from 2h00 to 7h00.

*** Kat determined to preserve the legacy of her granddad ***

His true love for horses began in the 50s while he was herding cattle on a donkey, when he crossed paths with a white boy on a horse. With childlike curiosity, they decided to swap mounts. Unfortunately, the child’s infuriated father came storming out and put an end to the innocent exchange “My child will not ride a black man’s donkey” he shouted. His parents were equally unimpressed when they heard of this exchange, fearing he would end up in jail if he continued interacting with white people in this manner, in the heat of apartheid, but this didn’t stop Enos’ determination and love for horses, he truly viewed it as a resilience test.

*** Drawing in the fourth generation: grandad, grand daughter and great granddaughter ***

At the end of 1960, Enos started working as a groom under Lesley Taylor at Calvin Riding School. He won the first show, at Inanda Club in 1962, wearing an overall with gumboots. The show was the first in which blacks were allowed to compete, but only against each other. He had yet another win in a riding competition in 1963 at Inanda Country Base.

*** Working for Lesley Taylor as a groom in 1961***

In 1975, he and 16 other grooms were enrolled at Marist Brothers College, the only school that allowed blacks to compete in the white-dominated sport, where he started competing in multi- racial shows. He came fifth and sixth in a competition at Marist Brothers and became the first black show jumper.

In 1976, he won 2nd place in the Rothman’s Derby where blacks were allowed for show jumping, and further won first place at the Rothman’s Derby 3 years in a row, from 1977 to 1979.

In 1977, he became the first black member of what was the Transvaal Horse Society (The Horse Society of Gauteng), and in that year, he competed at Klerksdorp, and won three classes out of five classes. He finished first and second in two qualifying classes and won the Championship class. The white lady that had finished second was so angry that she was beaten by a black man and showed her disapproval and refusal by not attending the prize giving.

He then won the Ellerines show in 1977 and won the Championships at the Constantia Show grounds in Cape Town in 1977 and 1979.

He became a Reserve Champion at the Rand Show in 1977 and continued to win as pairs with Annelli Wucherpfenning at the Rand Show 3yrs in a row from 1978 to 1980.

In 1978, his entry to the Pietermaritzburg Agricultural Horse Show was initially rejected, but Annelli wrote to the then President P.W Botha to get approval, and he became the Reserve Champion of the King George Trophy and won as pairs with former Springbok Captain, Mickey Louw.

*** In Pietermaritzburg, at the Royal Agriculture show, 1978. He was the first black person allowed to participate in 127 years since its inception ***

*** Annelli Wucherpfenning and Enos Mafokate ***

In 1980, after South Africa had been internationally banned for 20 years from international participation in sports, David Broome invited him to compete in the UK. His entry forms were rejected at the Wembley Royal International Horse Show. Annelli helped him, and HRH Queen Elizabeth allowed him to compete at Wembley. He his first show at Wales and became reserve champion in the second class. He continued to compete in the UK for 4 consecutive years and had standing ovations from the crowds. Out of the 31 world champions that competed, he came out fifth in the Supreme Championship.

*** With wife, Grace Mafokate, daughter Makoma Mafokate, and Sales House Manager in 1980, as the first black rider to compete and win in Europe ***

*** 1980 riding “Let’s Go” at Wales Show Jumping Championship came 2nd out of 35 competitors ***

He won the Showing Show at the Midlands Grand National Championship in 1984 in the UK with a crowd of over 65000 people.

In 1981, he won 1st place for the Welcome Stake at Tzaneen (name of the Resort which hosted the show is unknown)

The same year, he also registered in a Showing Show Class in the Free State, however the Free State Association did not allow him to participate until Transvaal Horse Society intervened including local radio stations and news outlets – Judge Mary Slack was one of the judges at this show knowing the struggles Enos had faced in being rejected to participate however pushing on to break the barrier in the Free State.

At the opening of the Nasrec showground south of Johannesburg in 1984, sponsored by the doyen of black entrepreneurship, Mr Richard Maponya, and his wife, Marina, he took 1st place.

In 1986, he competed provincially in show jumping in Mabatho, Thabanchu, Ciskei, Transkei, and was overall winner with 61 points, with a difference of one point between him and the rider that came second.

*** Granddad and baby Kat ***

He won the Welcome Stake and Championship at Bela-Bela (then known as Warmbaths) Show Ground in 1987. The competition course builder was Bill Johnson and there were no other clear rounds in the Welcome Stakes class.

At Lebowakgomo Show Ground, he received 1st place for two showing show competitions, 1st place for show hunters competition and 1st place Hack (three out of four classes) in 1988.

In 1992, Enos represented South Africa as an official Sports Ambassador at the Barcelona Olympics, the first Olympic Games in which South Africa had been allowed to take part in over 32years.

He also won one class and a Championship out of four classes in Botswana in 1992.

*** At the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992 as South African Ambassador ***

In 2000, he competed in Thabazimbi, and won one out of four classes, and a championship class. At the Pretoria Showground, he won first and second.

In 2001, the riding school he had opened in 1988, won 11 out of 12 classes at Lephalale (then known as Ellisras) in Limpopo.

*** Africa Cup in Kyalami; Enos was Captain of the first all-black Show Jumping team, 2004 ***

In 2007, The City of Johannesburg under Mayor Amos Masondo leased 28 hectares of land in Moroka Soweto where he founded the Enos Mafokate Equestrian Centre. His Vaulting team won the Gauteng Regional Vaulting Championships in 2009, then represented Gauteng and won at the South African National Vaulting Championships. They won again SA Championships another six times. His pupil, Khensani Maluleke competed at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky USA as development in 2010. Karabo Mafokate and Paballo Mashilo also competed at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy France in 2014.

*** Vaulting training in Soweto – Paballo Mashilo, Khensani Maluleke and Musa Maluleke, 2014 ***

*** Karabo Mafokate, Bongani Mvumvu and … competing at the World FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy France, 2014 ***

*** He won as Captain of the team at All Nations Cup in Swaziland, 2008 ***

In 2008, as Captain at the Africa Cup in Kyalami, his team came third.

He was honoured with a Life Award by The Horse Society of Gauteng in 2008 and was awarded Volunteer of The Year at the South African Sports Awards in Bloemfontein in 2008.

*** Hlobisile at Cullinan Riding School, Showing Competition Horses Royal, 2018 ***

*** Championship winner, Kabelo Mafokate, and horse Casper’s Comet at Kyalami Equestrian Park, 2009 ***

In 2015, with Minister Fikile Mbalula as Sports Minister, he was awarded the Steve Tshwete Life Achievement Award.

In 2016, he was part of the team that formed the Bowling Club to revive Bowling in Soweto.

In 2018, as part of the Johannesburg Bowls Association, he was team manager for the Bowling team that participated in the Provincial Inter-district Competition at Bloemfontein.

*** HRH Princess Anne visit EMEF, 2012 ***

In 2019, he was awarded the Rand Show Gold Medal for his extensive career as a show jumper. He won the showing show at the Royal Agricultural Society in 2019, and was guest of honour at the Longines Masters of Paris in December 2019.

*** Andrew Mlangeni Green Jacket Award – Dep of Sports, Arts & Culture, 2020 ***

*** South African Horse Federation – Achievement Award for Enos Mafokate’s official retirement from Derby show jumping 

(First photo credit: Debbie Copeman 2017) ***

*** Guest of Honour at the Longines Masters Paris, 2019 ***

*** Cover Page of Equestrian Life magazine, 2017 ***


• Stable Management & Instructor Certificate (1987)

• Level 1 and 2 Horse Welfare and Horse Care Training (1997)

• Stable Management facilitated by the JCCI in Belgium (1997)

• Wellness Certificate (2003)

• Completed Farrier Course by the World Horse Welfare in Cape Town (2006)

• Coach of Coach Certificate (2008) Durban

• Coach of Coach Certificate (2009) Kyalami

Other Achievements:

• Competed four times in the United Kingdom from 1980 to 1984 without S.A National Colours due to apartheid laws that prohibited SANEF from giving him National Colours

• Manager for horse unit division at S.P.C.A Booysens (1988-1999)

• P.D.S.A Soweto Horse Unit Manager (2000-2011)

• Awarded a recognition award at the Soweto Games (1991)

• Founded the Enos Mafokate Equestrian Centre (2007)

Now formally known as the Soweto Equestrian Centre

• Mayor Amos Masondo acknowledgement Certificate (2010)

• Invitation to London Olympics Meeting (2011)

• Invitation to Italy (2011)

• HRH Princess Anne visits the Enos Mafokate Equestrian Centre (2012)

• Invitation to Dundee July (2012)

• Honoured with Siyabakhumbula Award at Gallagher Estate (2012)

• Retired Show Jumping Awards at Kyalami Equestrian Park (2017)

• Received all the Johannesburg Bowls Association Colours in 2018 as team manager at the

Inter-District Competitions in Bloemfontein. (2018)

• Andrew Mlangeni Green Jacket Award (2020).

*** Champion warmblood, Vuk’uzenzele, known to many as Vuka ***

Breaking Barriers as the first black person competing with white persons:

• Tzaneen (1978)

• Kyalami Horse Society – The best turnout groom (1979)

• United Kingdom Wembley – Showing Show (1980)

• Wales – Show Jumping (1980)

• London Show – Showing Show (1981)

• Orange Free State – Show Jumping (1981)

• Walkerville – Show Jumping (1982)

• South of England – Stoneleigh Agricultural Show (1982)

• Welkom – Show Jumping (1983)

• Midlands – Showing Show (1984)

• Rand Show – Maponya welcome Stake Show (1984)

• Belabela – Show Jumping (1986)

• Mafikeng – Show Jumping (1986)

• Thabanchu Sun – Show Jumping (1986)

• Transkei – Show Jumping (1986)

• Ciskei – Show Jumping (1986)

• Lebowakgomo – Showing Show (1987)


• Enos Mafokate received all S.A National Colours in 1992 when nominated to form part of S.A Olympic team but has not received the Presidential Green Jacket.


• Self-publish an autobiography: “Breaking Barriers – The First Black Show jumper”

• Interested in incorporating visual art to preserve history and the legacy

• Expand the Soweto Equestrian Centre into a multi-purpose sports centre hub.


For more information, please contact Enos and Katlego Mafokate on:

Mobile: + 27 82 330 7030

E-mail: enosmosotho44@gmail.com

E-mail: katjie002@gmail.com