Re­mem­ber­ing gal­lant son, Duke Ndlovu

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport/supplement - Yoliswa Dube

ON Septem­ber 15, 2015 – Zim­babwe woke up to news that a gi­ant had fallen.

A dark cloud hung over the coun­try as a gal­lant son of the soil, Cde Sikhany­iso Duke Ndlovu breathed his last. He was 78.

Cde Ndlovu died at Mater Dei Hos­pi­tal in Bu­l­awayo where he had been ad­mit­ted to the In­ten­sive Care Unit after an asthma at­tack and sub­se­quent stroke. He was de­clared a na­tional hero and is buried at the Na­tional Heroes Acre in Harare.

Com­mem­o­rat­ing the first an­niver­sary of his pass­ing, Cde Ndlovu’s wife, Mrs Rose Ndlovu, said the late for­mer Cabi­net Min­is­ter and Zanu-PF Polit­buro mem­ber is fondly re­mem­bered.

“He is fondly re­mem­bered with love and af­fec­tion by my­self, his chil­dren, rel­a­tives, pro­fes­sional col­leagues, friends and all who knew him or worked with him. As I re­flect on the 54 years of our mar­ried life, I thank and praise God Almighty for hav­ing given me such a lov­ing, loyal hus­band,” said Mrs Ndlovu.

She said Cde Ndlovu was a sup­port­ive and en­cour­ag­ing hus­band, a pi­o­neer of dis­tance ed­u­ca­tion in Zim­babwe and a self­less rev­o­lu­tion­ary of the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle.

“I owe most of my achieve­ments to his sup­port and en­cour­age­ment. He gave him­self to the ser­vice of the fam­ily and com­mu­nity at large. He en­cour­aged and mo­ti­vated all those who were mak­ing ef­forts to im­prove or up­grade them­selves es­pe­cially through ed­u­ca­tion or busi­ness ven­tures, as long as they had the am­bi­tion and put ef­fort to achieve something posit ive,” said Mrs Ndlovu.

“He was a pi­o­neer of the in­tro­duc­tion of dis­tance ed­u­ca­tion in Zim­babwe through af­ford­able dis­tance learn­ing. He was a self­less rev­o­lu­tion­ary of the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle, a uni­fier across eth­nic, tribal and po­lit­i­cal lines and an as­tute ad­min­is­tra­tor. May his soul rest in God’s eter­nal peace.”

Born on May, 4, 1937, Cde Ndlovu started ac­tive pol­i­tics in 1957 after he joined the African Na­tional Congress (ANC) Youth League.

He also worked as a jour­nal­ist for the Bantu Mir­ror, a pub­li­ca­tion that fo­cused on African is­sues.

In 1959, Cde Ndlovu went to South Africa where he got his first taste of pol­i­tics when he be­came a mem­ber of the African Na­tional Congress be­fore re­turn­ing to Zim­babwe to serve as Zapu’s chair­man for Mpopoma dis­trict in Bu­l­awayo in 1962.

Dur­ing that time, Cde Ndlovu led Mgan­dane, a group of trained guer­ril­las re­spon­si­ble for sev­eral sab­o­tage op­er­a­tions in the area.

After the ban­ning of Zapu in 1963, he be­came a mem­ber of the Peo­ple’s Care­taker Coun­cil, which led to his ar­rest by the white mi­nor­ity Rhode­sian gov­ern­ment in 1964.

He was de­tained at Gon­akudz­ingwa prison up to 1965 to­gether with the late Vice Pres­i­dents Joshua Nkomo and Joseph Msika, among other lib­er­a­tion icons.

After his re­lease from prison in 1965, he went to Zam­bia be­fore mov­ing to the United States where he served as Zapu’s chair­man in that coun­try.

In the same year, he ad­vo­cated for the re­lease of the late VP Nkomo and other lead­ers at the United Na­tions.

His role as an ed­u­ca­tion­ist dates back to 1977 when he served as the di­rec­tor of Zapu schools in Zam­bia at Vic­tory, JZ and Sol­wezi camps.

In 1978, he be­came a mem­ber of the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Coun­cil in Zam­bia.

Cde Ndlovu was part of the se­cu­rity team for late VP Nkomo work­ing to­gether with Al­bert Nx­ele on pres­i­den­tial se­cu­rity.

He was part of a crew that moved the late Fa­ther Zim­babwe from his house in Zam­bia be­fore its bomb­ing.

At in­de­pen­dence, he served as Zapu’s deputy ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary dur­ing the coun­try’s first elec­tions.

He was also PF-Zapu Cen­tral Com­mit­tee mem­ber from 1980 to 1987. After the sign­ing of the Unity Ac­cord in 1987, Cde Ndlovu be­came a mem­ber of the Zanu-PF Con­sul­ta­tive As­sem­bly from 1988 to Septem­ber 1994.

Cde Ndlovu also served as Zanu-PF deputy na­tional com­mis­sar be­tween 2000 and 2005.

He was a trustee for sev­eral in­sti­tu­tions in­clud­ing the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Na­tional Foun­da­tion, 21st Fe­bru­ary Move­ment and Mpopoma De­vel­op­ment Trust.

Cde Ndlovu also held sev­eral gov­ern­ment po­si­tions in­clud­ing be­ing Min­is­ter of In­for­ma­tion and Publicity in 2007 and 2008.

From 1995 to 2000, he was the Deputy Min­is­ter of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion. Cde Ndlovu was a Polit­buro mem­ber un­til his death. The like­able for­mer MP for Mpopoma was the chair­per­son of the Zim­babwe Na­tional Army (ZNA) Schools Wel­fare Trust. He once served as Zanu-PF na­tional sec­re­tary for ed­u­ca­tion in the Polit­buro.

Cde Ndlovu was also the pa­tron of Bon­gani Or­phan­age in Njube sub­urb, Bu­l­awayo.

He was also recog­nised for ex­cel­lence in dis­tance ed­u­ca­tion. At one time, he was the pres­i­dent of the African As­so­ci­a­tion for Dis­tance Ed­u­ca­tion.

Cde Ndlovu pub­lished over 30 mono­graphs, books and de­liv­ered key­note ad­dresses to the Com­mon­wealth of Learn­ing in Sin­ga­pore and UNESCO.

A dis­tin­guished aca­demic and ed­u­ca­tion­ist, Cde Ndlovu was the founder of the Zim­babwe Dis­tance Ed­u­ca­tion Col­lege (ZEDCO).

He held a Di­ploma in So­cial Work (1961), Di­ploma in De­vel­op­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion, Bach­e­lor of Arts in So­ci­ol­ogy (1968), Masters in Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion (1969) and Doc­tor­ate in Ed­u­ca­tion with the Syra­cuse Univer­sity of New York (USA) (1976).

Pic­tures of the late Dr Sikhany­iso Duke Ndlovu

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