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Maps Maponyane – Brand ambassador for Tom Ford eyewear


Michelle Minnie, Brand Manager at SDM, chats to Maps Maponyane, well known actor, TV presenter, model, philanthropist and business entrepeneur.

Michelle: What projects are you currently working on?
Maps: I’m currently finding myself on the road a lot with different projects on the go. More specifically, in the process of writing a new TV show and new digital series that piggy backs off of my travels and explorations in a bit of an unconventional way, which will be a part of a production agency I’m forming. In addition, I’m producing my first feature film at the end of the year, and of course as always still pursuing the best of the good life with Top Billing.

Michelle: When did you first notice issues with your vision?
Maps: When I was in a very bad bus accident at 9 years old. The bus flipped off a cliff which led to a big gash on my head, and migraines which then led to impaired vision.

Michelle: What is wrong with your eyes?
Maps: Well some may say I’m as blind as a bat, but I’m severely short-sighted.

Michelle: When did you start wearing glasses?
Maps: At 9 years old.

Michelle: When did you get your first Tom Ford frame and why?
Maps: About 5 years ago when I realised that if eyewear was going to be an aesthetic trademark then it had to be the best of the best, and that’s Tom Ford.

Michelle: Why do you still wear Tom Ford?
Maps: Haven’t encountered anything better, so I haven’t had a need to change.

Michelle: Do you prefer glasses to contact lenses?
Maps: I’ve always preferred glasses, they are a part of me and cause far less irritation personally than contacts do for me.

Michelle: How do you choose frames to suit your image?
Maps: I try on as many as possible and imagine how they would fit into my daily life and various styles and environment.

Michelle: Would you ever consider doing eye surgery to correct your vision to not wear spectacles?
Maps: Probably not, I’m a purist and love the rawness of glasses enhancing my look and the ability they have in making one stand out.

Michelle: You recently started using Seiko lenses – what is your visual experience like in these lenses?
Maps: Incredible. My lenses have never been clearer, nor my sight sharper. You can truly see the difference, and I’m all about the details – my Seiko lenses just highlights that even more.

Michelle: Do you need thinner than standard lenses?
Maps: Absolutely. My face is always in front of the camera, and although glasses are eye catching they can’t be all that you see so that they distract from what I may be doing. With my vision and high prescription the thinner and more discreet the lenses, the better.

Michelle: Worst eyewear experience in your life?
Maps: I sat on my glasses while I was in a remote town many years ago and needed to play a 3-day school golf tournament, which turned out to be a fruitless experience with taped up glasses that fell off of my face with every swing.

Michelle: Best eyewear experience in your life?
Maps: Every single time I put on a new pair of Tom Ford eyewear. You can’t describe how good they feel and look. As you can tell, I’m a little obsessed.

Michelle: What has been your favourite project in the past year?
Maps: My favourite project in the past year without a doubt, has been some of the great brand work I’ve gotten to do with Samsung.

maps_otherMichelle: What do you do in your free time?
Maps: On the rare occasion that I have free time, I like to spend it with friends and family either sharing a meal, or playing a round of golf with my old man and cousins.

Michelle: What are your passions in life?
Maps: Finding beauty in the smallest of things, storytelling, youth development, education
and travel.

Michelle: What inspires you?
Maps: Ordinary people that have very little, but live life with a joy that shows gratitude in everything that they have; kindness and unconventional thinking.

Michelle: Favourite Quote?
Maps: There’s no such thing as impossible, it just takes longer than planned.