KIMBERLEY and the Northern Cape woke on Friday (08/07) to the sad news that Andy “Mogaetsho” Motlhabane Noko had passed away. Noko collapsed on Thursday (07/07) while on government work in Pretoria. He was rushed to hospital where he passed away. He worked for the Department of Education in the Northern Cape as a learning area manager at the Francis Baard District office. According to his wife, Patricia, her husband went to Pretoria to discuss the issue of examinations with colleagues. Noko previously taught at the Emang Mmogo High School in Galeshewe. He completed his honours degree in Education at the now former Vista University in Bloemfontein. He started his working life in 1991 and 12 years down the line he was promoted to the district office. He taught Geography and Setswana, but his passion was Setswana. “I would send him an SMS in English and he would remind me that I am Motswana and that I must send the message again in Setswana,” said Refilwe, his eldest child. His peers include Mosito Mokwena and Motho-Osele Kgoe. Kgoe, who was a colleague at provincial level, described Noko’s role in the promotion of the Setswana language as irreplace-able as he was doing a perfect job in guiding teachers on how to teach Setswana effectively.“We will miss his role and skills because we currently have fewer Setswana teachers. According to his wife, Noko was proud of the learners who passed through his hands and he never ceased to mention people such as Phumza Mdibe who is now a personal assistant to the MEC of Health in the Northern Cape.Noko was the eldest child of four siblings. Two have already passed away, as did their parents, leaving only one sister, Pinky. Noko was married to the love of his life, Patricia Gomolemo Noko. They were married for 19 years after courting for ten years. They had a son, Aobakwe, and a daughter, Refilwe, as well as a grand-daughter, Soso, whom he was very fond of.“I have lost the love of my life, my other half. He made me feel so loved and always told people about us, his family. “Some people ended up calling me ‘Love’ because that was how he called me. He left us so suddenly and we will miss him very much,” said his wife.Refilwe added: “If only we could bring him back, only for one day, we would not think twice.”His sister, Pinky, also expressed her pride about her brother for being the overprotective type. “During our growing-up years, he continued to encourage me to stand my ground and strive harder,” added Pinky.The funeral will be held at the Jimmy Summers Hall on Saturday (16/07) and will proceed to the West End Cemetry.A memorial service will be held Thursday (14/07) at the Newton Primary School.