Gymnastics Interviews Sports

Up Close with Wilson Tlhakiso Mafona

Today meet one of SA’s brightest stars – Aerobics Gymnast Wilson Tlhakiso Mafona.  He is a young man that is driven and focussed. He has a heart for uplifting people and says “I want to groom more talented good amazing gymnast and set the bar high for Mzansi. I want to be a good leader and a very good example to the rest of the youth”.

He has just executed some stellar performances in the world stage in Korea at the World Champs individually and part of a trio with Dominique Mann and Happy Ledwaba. He is a great role model to our youth, and well celebrated all around for his excellence.

He says “I am always driven to improve every day. I can’t be satisfied with my last performance. I am disciplined. I have to follow a strict exercise and training program. I am competitive and want to beat your competitors in every competition. I am always confident in myself and believe that I am winner. I make moves on my own, not just respond to what other athletes do. I always stay focused on the task at hand and tune out any other distractions. I am committed to my sport. I gave up on my other hobbies and interests”.


Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Wilson Tlhakiso Mafona
Nick Name Willow
Date of birth 1991 JANUARY 8th
Place of birth Pretoria Atteridgeville
Current City Saulsville
Height 176
Weight 64
Shoe Size 6 and 7
Club Brits gymnastics club
Coach’s Name Alta Lategan
Out of Country events/ meets Africa Championships

All Africa games

International world cups

International open

World championships

Secondary Sport/ sports Athletics
Favorite City Cape Town and Doha
Favorite Song/ type of music R&B Pop- The weekend ft Beyonce
Favorite Movie Fast and furious 7
School & Grade Rosin Sedibane Sports School matric 2008
Sponsors Ambessador of Sports lab and Bear underwear






Web site Will gymnastics SA. Have.
Community / church projects involved in Zion Christian church
Parents Names, siblings Mother- Mapula Rebecca Mafona

Little brother- Kgothatso Mafona



Q: Congratulations! – You did brilliantly at the Aerobic Gymnastics World Championships in Korea. Do you want to share a little on your achievements here (individually / team), how did you experience it? Lesson learned?

This was a great experience as it was my first time in Korea for such big games. Competition wise was quite hectic and very stressful because my goal was to obtain my 1st position in Africa and also qualify 1st in the trio category in African countries.

I did my best and reached my goal. World Champs were good to me. I was strong enough to a point where I lost two of my difficulties in my routine and still managed to come 1st in Africa.  The whole trip was just amazing. Giving me and my trio team mate good results. I must say our hard training paid off. Hopefully SASCOC  will send us to the next World Games in Poland next year June. This is the biggest games aerobic gymnastics can ever attend world wide.

Q: Why do you have so much love and respect for your coach/es?

They always say without an athlete there is no Coach. Well for me it goes both ways. Without my coach there is no me. I am where I am today with this sports because of her. She put up so much time to make me the best gymnast in the continent.


Q: How do you balance your sport with the rest of your life / career / studies?

It is difficult because I love my sports. I wish I got paid for doing this sports…. pity that can never happen. I am working as a personal trainer. I finished my personal training qualification beginning of this year. So I juggle around my work schedule to fit in my gymnastics training time. I’m mostly free over the weekends so that’s when I get to hang around with family and friends and relax as much as I can.

Q: Would you like to share a little bit more about your faith journey and how it has affected your life / sports?

I have always been active. From primary school till now. I have accomplished so many things within my sports. All my dreams came true. Only one more dream has to be fulfilled.  And that is representing South Africa at the World Games Next year June. I have to say it was never an easy ride.

Q: What do you do to relax?

I would listen to music indoor and watch lots of TV. otherwise I’d go eat out with family. I prefer  to relax indoor because I get to think about the future and plan properly for the next day.

Q: One thing about you that the world does not know 🙂

hahaha hahahahah ah lol the world shall know soon enough about Wilson Mafona. Can’t say anything for now.



Q: What is your personal favourite motivational quote?

There are two quotes

1st- I am in charge of how I feel and I am choosing to be happy today.

2nd- Be your self because an original is worth more than a copy.

Q: In your opinion, how do you define greatness / success in life?

Success is about raising and being part of a loving family, about maintaining deeply satisfying relationships with friends and colleagues, and about contributing something worthwhile to their community or to a cause they believe in. Success means being able to spend freely and enjoy the good things in life

Q: What’s your WHY ?  

I do this because I love keeping healthy and fit and mostly because I’m in love with the sport. I want everyone to look up to me and say they want to be like me. Travel the world, represent my country and give back to my community. I want to run my own gym club where I will be able to groom more talented good amazing gymnast and set the bar high for Mzansi. I want to be a good leader and a very good example to the rest of the youth.

Q: What happens next for you i.t.o competition? Anything else you would like to share?

Nothing major is coming up with Gymnastics.  I’m now preparing my self for SA got talent theatre auditions where I will be show casing our beautiful sports of aerobic gymnastics.  Thumbs up for me and fingers crossed. Stressed.


Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!

NB – All images were supplied by the athlete to Heslop Sports. If there are any images that are not credited correctly, please email with the details and we will gladly do so immediately.

  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 788 other subscribers

  • Ad
  • Ad
%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar