LATE MRS WINNIE NTOMBOXOLO MANELI
LATE MRS WINNIE NTOMBOXOLO MANELI
– A pioneer woman
It is with great sadness to announce the passing of Mrs Winnie Ntomboxolo Maneli – a wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, retired school principal and a devout servant of the church of Jesus Christ.
Winnie was born on the 29th of July 1934 to the late Mr Albert Mazwi and Mrs Nomavuso Pauline Ntlokwana. She was born in Ngcothi, a small rural village in Qumbu in the Eastern Cape. Winnie’s mother defied the laws that separated husbands and wives when she left Ngcothi in 1933, to join her husband, who had gone to Cape Town to seek work as a labourer.
Winnie passed her matric with flying colours at Langa High School in Cape Town, being one of the top two students in the country and as a result, was awarded a scholarship to study at the University of Fort Hare. In Fort Hare, she graduated with an Honours Degree in Latin, as well as a teaching diploma.
Winnie treaded her own path at a time when it was uncommon to see women enter the spaces she navigated. As Leonie Joubert expressed in her feature article, Tea at Winnie’s, “if Bantu Education was supposed to produce ‘garden boys’ and ‘maids’, the system failed spectacularly with the Maneli family. Winnie and Xhala’s bookshelves bear testimony to this in grand style – from Arnold J. Toynbee’s A Study of History, to volume after volume of weathering Encyclopaedia Britannica and Collins Encyclopaedia, leaning this way and that into a tidy herringbone pattern, book-ended by an Oxford-published Latin dictionary thick enough to stop a door.”
She was the first female principal at Amabhele Secondary School in Krwakrwa, a Tyhume Village and continued to hold this position in Mpambani Senior Secondary School and Thubalethu High School where her final years of her career, ending in 1995 were spent. She also served as a teacher at Nathaniel Nyaluza and Healdtown Secondary School for a few years.
As someone who truly valued education, after retirement, she converted one of the homes in her yard into a finishing school, where she helped matriculants improve their English and Biology marks. She was also heavily involved in an NGO called Tyhume Valley Schools. This is an organisation with roots in the UK that empowers primary schools in the Tyhume Valley by providing resources such as reading clubs, training courses, and study camps, just to name a few.
Winnie’s pioneering spirit continued to shine during her years of retirement as she devoted her time serving her local church and uplifting her community. She was an active member and elder of the Uniting Presbyterian Church, in the Macfarlan branch in the Tyhume region.
For about 20 years from 2000, Winnie co-ordinated a partnership between the Macfarlan congregation and an American Presbyterian church called Mission at the Eastward. She was also part of the Macfarlan delegation that visited this church in Maine – USA in July 2004. This partnership supported and birthed several initiatives such as the Heifer International Poultry Project, Upper Ncera Clinic Support, Supporting ARVT in the Tyhume Valley; Agricultural Projects; Computer and Communications for Partnership Activities.
She continued working tirelessly on these community projects until she had to retire from them due to old age.
Mrs Winnie Maneli passed away peacefully on Sunday, the 4th of July 2021 on her 87th year - surrounded by her children and grandchildren.
Winnie is survived by her three daughters Nondwe Majodina, Nozipho Mkiva, and Nompumelelo Maneli, her eight grandchildren Ncumisa Zibi, Thulisa Majodina, Solanga Mkiva, Zimasa Majodina, Bongolomzi Mkiva, Phelokazi Mkiva, Avile Maneli and Achuma Mahlangu, her two great-grandchildren, Solanga Ezra and Khuze Eli Mkiva as well as nephews and nieces.
The funeral service is scheduled for 8 a.m. on July 16th, 2021 and will be conducted by the Uniting Presbyterian Church of South Africa at her home in Alice. Due to the current Covid-19 regulations, only immediate family and speakers will attend the funeral service at the home.
Winnie was the epitome of love and instilled the importance of family, unity, education, and empowering those around you. The impact she had on her family and community shows what hard work, determination, resilience and love can achieve.
Rest well, Maduma. Ugqatso ulufezile!
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