MANNY WOLPE. Welcome to the Life Story of Manny Wolpe who was born on 28th February 1931 in Humansdorp,  then a small town in South Africa’s Eastern Province and died on 20th April 2011 in Cape Town, aged 80. The Life Stories team filmed this interview on 27th December 2010 – 4 months before his death. 


From the age of five Manny worked in his parents store quickly displaying a talent for salesmanship and dealing with people from all walks of life.  He went on to great success in the South African ‘rag trade’ and as a property developer, married Lita and had two children Maureen and David.

This interview was conducted in Cape Town South Africa by Manny’s 16 year old granddaughter Thandi.  In it you will enjoy stories from Manny’s early days in Humansdorp featuring his parents Morris and Ester Wolpe (nee Harris) and siblings Cyril, Zelda and Leon, wheelin and dealin and how he built his amazing business and stories from family life.

In Part 6 Manny is joined by his daughter Maureen Cooper and son David Wolpe.


Part 1: Early days: Manny’s parents , Andrieskraal & Humansdorp. Part 2: The birth of a salesman in Humansdorp. Early working years in Cape Town, the Eastern Cape and Transkei.

Part 3: Wheelin and dealin, meeting and marrying Lita.
Part 4: Big business, the birth of Wolpe Fashion Holdings

Part 5: The children
Part 6: The tragic death of Manny’s grandson Jacques, Maureen and David join the conversation, words of wisdom & closing thoughts.


4 Responses to Manny Wolpe (80) – From Country Boy to Fashion Icon

  1. Wendy March 6, 2014 at 4:40 am #

    Looking to re-connect with my Wolpe family. My grandmother Mildred Wolpe Foxman Raskin came to the U.S. as a young woman in the early 1900s and her brother immigrated to South Africa. I met my cousin Leon Wolpe when hetoured the US with friends about 40 years ago. If anyone reads this who knows this family, please let them know. Thank you.

  2. Brian Fileman May 11, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Query if Carl Fileman could have been from the same Fileman family?
    Not many Fileman’s around so it is not impossible.

    • admin May 11, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

      Could well be Brian. I will forward your comment to the family with your contact details so they can give you the info.

  3. Irene Fileman Lazarus April 23, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    Wishing you all long life – I met Manny in the early 60’s when he started working for my father, Carl Fileman. He was always there for me and helped me adjust when I got divorced in 1980. The last time I saw him was at my mothers funeral in 2004. As I am now living in the UK I could not attend his funeral. He will always have a special place in my and my childrens hearts – Once again, wishing you long life – Irene FILEMAN Lazarus, son Justin and daughter Simone

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