Portia Mogamisi is a self-proclaimed people person. She started at Maropeng as a cleaner in 2006, and was later recruited as a guide by the former curator.

“I love working with people, interacting with them and learning from them,” says Portia.

“I especially enjoy meeting international tourists and telling them about South Africa. They come here with one concept about how we are, but I like to show them how welcoming we are. Then they leave with a different concept.”


Like all Maropeng’s guides, Portia was trained and accredited with the Gauteng Tourism Authority, but before she started she knew little about the Maropeng story.

As a devout Christian, the theory of evolution was new to her and she admits that at first it was hard to incorporate the new knowledge with her understanding of the world, but now she is confident explaining it to groups of visitors.

Maropeng Marketing Manager Erica Saunders describes Portia as “an amazing young woman”.

“She has enormous inner strength and the potential to be a leader. I have huge admiration for her,” continues Erica.

Portia is a mother of two young girls, aged seven years and 13 months.

“My seven year old knows more about Maropeng than most people. I have a replica of Mrs Ples in my house and when my daughter’s friends come round she tells them all about her,” says Portia, laughing.

Originally from Mafikeng, Portia has a diploma in public administration and management and hopes to be able to join the Maropeng administration team in the future

“I’m currently having fun in my job, but I know I’ll want to move on one day. I know it’s possible, because there are so many opportunities here. I’ve learnt nothing is impossible. If you know where you’re going, you just have to follow the right steps.”