Gogo thanks God for all the grace

2016-02-11 06:00
Nozengezi Selina Ndzube (middle) is happy for living that long. She was flanked by her daughter, Ntombizanele Ngesi and cousin, Vuyiswa Sapepa, on Friday, in Gugulethu.  PHOTO: mBONGISENI mASEKO

Nozengezi Selina Ndzube (middle) is happy for living that long. She was flanked by her daughter, Ntombizanele Ngesi and cousin, Vuyiswa Sapepa, on Friday, in Gugulethu. PHOTO: mBONGISENI mASEKO

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Nozengezi Selina Ndzube has seen a lot in her life, having lived through various milestones, from being born in the year of the Spanish Flu epidemic, which decimated the lives of more than a half a million people in South Africa alone, to the Second World War and through other events in the country and the world.

Now nearing her 98th birthday, Ndzube said she is happy and feels blessed enough to have seen lived to see her great-great- grandchildren.

Affectionately known as “MamBhele”, Ndzube is the mother of Ntombizanele “Selele” Ngesi, a former teacher and principal at Xolani Primary School, and also the grandmother of comedian Siv Ngesi, including Thobile Ndzube a part-time columnist on this publication.

She said she was grateful to God for keeping her for this long.

Ndzube was born in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, and grew-up a few kilometres from the home of the late Nelson Mandela.

Though memory slips are a part of her life nowadays, it is her engaging smile that tells a visitor of their welcome into her modest house in Gugulethu’s NY5.

Though content with her life, she announced with a heavy heart that she was the only surviving sibling out of eight.

She’s also had six children of her own, some of whom have passed on, save for Ngesi, who took up her story.

“She had to quit school in Standard 5(grade 7) to work to support her siblings. After her family moved to Cape Town, she found work at Groote Schuur Hospital.

She later became a housewife and dress-maker. At one stage she ran an illegal shebeen to keep the hunger wolves at bay.”

Her Husband Colben Ndzube passed away in 1969 after a short illness.

Ngesi was said she was proud of her mother’s resilience since the demise of their father.

A staunch Anglican, Ndzube has three grand-children, seven great-children, 10 great-great children and one great-great-great grand-child.

Gogo Ndzube no longer hold birthday parties on her big day, as because of old-age, finds the presence of large numbers of people in her house intimidating.

Ngesi added: “We thank God for keeping her for this long. She thinks that God has forgotten her, because all her siblings and friends have since died,” she added.

She also thanked members of St Mary Magdalena Anglican Church, in Gugulethu, for their frequent visits to her home.

Gogo Ndzube has recently been awarded a certificate service for being a member of the Women’s Union for many years.

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