Ode to my Beloved Sister
Fellcia Nomhle KHOZA Matukane
“To live in the hearts/minds of those we leave behind is NOT to die”
My sister of 69 years 9 months standing, almost the THREE SCORE YEARS AND TEN decreed by the Good Lord, has not died. She lives on, certainly in my heart and in the hearts of all those who loved and cherished her whilst she was still this side of eternity with us.
As for me she was a sister, a friend, drum major and supreme praise singer, my ultimate confidante, my defender and protector in chief. For years she was my fellow singer. As my confidante she knew everything there was to know about me. She could even scold me whenever I supplied them with beef from a beast that was not so young.
At tertiary education level she and I shared surplus from my bursaries. As a school principal she leaned on me to organise her school additional classrooms and boreholes for drinking water and vegetable gardening.
A Teacher-cum- Principal
Those who had the fortune of being her pupils continued to call her MADAM, as a sequel to her legendary role as a disciplinarian. Those who were taught English by her are known to speak the Queen’s language with torrents of eloquence. Above all she gave them a wonderful foundation for life. As Socrates observed “Parents are to be thanked because they brought us about. Good teachers are to be thanked even more for the gave us character.”
As a primary and secondary school pupil she was a terror on the basketball field. Her trim and athletic body earned her the nickname of SMALL MATTER. With lightning agility she ensured the regular collection of silverware for her school. As captain of her basketball club at Tivumbeni Training College she put wintery shivers to colleges and high schools where basketball contests were concerned.
As founder member of Imbali Women’s Club she rose to the position of Chair Lady. In that position she was pivotal in the establishment of Imbali Safari Logies as the BEE partners of that Hospitality Concession in the Kruger National Park. Dividends earned from this investment went a long way in rendering Imbali Women’s Club financially sustainable. When that concession winds down in about a year’s time Imbali Women’s Club will reap the ultimate benefits of their investment. Thanks in large measure to Felicia Nomhle’s entrepreneurial prowess.
As mother my sister loved and cared for her children like a mother-hen would for her chicks. She gave them optimal opportunity to acquire education. Those who cared to utilise the golden opportunity did so. No one can blame her for dereliction of parental duty.
Sister Felicia was in my opinion the ideal sibling. I have already waxed affectionate about my relationship with her. She loved all of us unconditionally. She loved our children and grandchildren like no aunt or grand aunt could. They in turn treasured her affection such that they cried uncontrollably at her demise.
Keeper of the Khoza Culture, Tradition and Kinship
Our sister Nomhle was THE wisdom keeper of the KHOZA Clan. She knew all our friends and relatives by name and respective profile and was master in detailing the interconnections.
• She was the unquestioned master of our genealogy and clan praise poetry (Xitlhokovetselo). She was the chosen intercessor between us and our ancestors where this was called for. She was also the ultimate STORYTELLER in the tradition of N’wavaloyi, N’wamatsakali and N’waDiki.
Sister Felicia Nomhle lived her life largely for others. Education was her calling and lifelong pursuit in many ways. She imparted her knowledge with utmost care, diligence and dedication. She served family, community and humanity within her reach in humane and affectionate fashion.
MAY HER LEGACY LINGER LONG.