Obituary: Nkululeko Lesley Qwabe, social activist, ANCYL leader

2008-01-08 00:00

Former local ANC Youth League leader, social activist, journalist and hospital public relations officer Nkululeko Lesley Qwabe (pictured) died of complications resulting from multiple drug-resistant tuberculosis on January 3, aged 29.

Born on April 4, 1978 in Machibisa, Edendale, where he grew up, his schooling was interrupted by the unrest leading up to the 1994 elections, but he went on to complete his senior certificate at Bongudunga High School in Dambuza in 1996, passing most of his subjects at higher grade.

He joined the Machibisa branch of the ANC Youth League in 1990 and served on the branch committee in various capacities, including branch organiser, from 1993.

He went on to join the SA Students’ Congress (Sasco) in Durban in 1999, while studying at Natal Technikon (Durban University of Technology), and served as media and publicity officer from 2001 until September 2002.

Qwabe studied journalism at Dalbridge College and at Technikon Natal and trained as a cadet radio news journalist with the now defunct Radio Maritzburg, compiling news bulletins and co-presenting the current affairs programme Izindaba zoMgungundlovu nama Phethelo in 1998, before continuing his journalism studies in Durban.

Qwabe did freelance work for Durban’s P4 Radio and Pietermaritzburg newspapers, including The Witness, Echo, and Public Eye, where he worked as a reporter during 2004.

In April 2005, he was appointed public relations officer at Bethesda Hospital in north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal.

In addition to his role in youth politics, he will be remembered as a committed community worker, serving on the committees of the Zizamele Recycling and Skills Training project (an Edendale paraplegic self-help organisation), various Edendale youth organisations and the Natal Museum’s oral and local history project. He also worked with the Keep Pietermaritzburg Clean Association.

He leaves his mother, Thandi Qwabe, his elder brother, Thulani, his sister Londeka and his fiancée Dr Thandi Mahuluhulu.

The funeral service will be held in the Machibisa Hall in Denisfield at 10 am on Saturday, followed by the burial at Mountain Rise Cemetery.

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