We are deeply saddened and devastated by the passing away of my father, Mr Stephen Rhobious Gideon Nkathazo Ngubo, in Wigan near Manchester in the UK on Friday 29 May 2020. He was the most loving and caring, father, khulu, brother, uncle, cousin, associate, friend and a best friend.
One thing is that he had been unwell and was due a hospital follow-up appointment, however, owing to the current pandemic, the hospital was not taking appointments at least another 3 months, and unfortunately he passed away.
From his marriage to the late Sikhanyisiwe nee Ngulube, he left behind four children, Sithabile, Jabu, Siqondile and Jumie, and three grandchildren, Jade, Jordan and Aniis.
Many people have been asking for an account in order for them to contribute so I have set up this GoFundMe, so you can contribute here, and also write a message here.
In particular, we are inviting all those from the 1975/76 group and friends to be generous.
Many Zimbabweans who came to the UK before Independence will remember Rhobious Ngubo as the master mind behind securing thousands of Rhodesian students to get scholarships to study at university in the UK. Indeed there were students from across southern and west Africa, as well as the Caribbean who he, along with Sikhanyisiwe, helped change the course of their lives through education. This was predominantly in the mid 1970's while he and they still continued to help others, well into the 1980's.
The world is a much better place for it, as part of the result is that we have doctors, engineers, university professors, IT professionals, lawyers, business-people and business owners, nurses, government ministers, and the list goes on. My dad, Rhobious was such a humble man that he would not talk or brag about what he had done – he just believed in, “Education, education, education!” as he would sometimes say.
Many are now spread far and wide across the globe in Europe, Africa, the Americas and Australasia – who knows, maybe one or two even ended up doing research at Antarctica or the Arctic.
He wanted to help his people, and he also helped many of his and my mum's family members who remained back home. Their kind natures even took them to looking after adult disabled and elderly people as businesses in the 1970s and 1980s.
He himself had come to the UK as a qualified social worker and he even continued to further educate himself by going to the London School of Economics a few years after he arrived in the UK in 1969 to do a further diploma. He was an early adopter when it came to technology, and in order to not get left behind he still further educated himself in his 50’s and/or 60’s, when he would go for classes to learn how to use a computer.
No matter where you saw him, apart from in his younger days when paying football, you would always see him in a suit – in fact one would think he was born in a suit. He was a brilliant man, and also he loved music and he loved to dance.
He has been described as, “Our hero, our mentor,” and a few other quotes are as follows:
“We have lost a very brave man - without him we could never enjoy the freedoms we have today.” (Zimbabwe)
“Without his intervention, we would be nothing.” (USA)
“He was a man of the people.” (UK)
“If it was not for him I would not be here . . . and I would not have a house.” (UK)
“There are people that are worthwhile remembering, and Ngubo is one of them.” (Canada)
“If your father had not intervened, there would be less than 1,000 people with degrees.” (Japan)
“In fact it was much more than [two and a half to three thousand] because of the knock-on effect – as their kids also got educated because their mothers and fathers got a break.” (USA)
In Zulu - “Mentor, Unifier, Revolutionary and Visionary, Malume, Sekuru, Mujoba Rhobius Nkathazo kaNgubo, emsamo una Mathongo usuyi Thongo. Rest In Peace.” (South Africa)
Translated - “You are now in the ancestral sacred place with the Gods and you’re now a God. Rest in Peace.” (South Africa)
This GoFundMe is to help with Rhobious Ngubo’s funeral and related expenses, with any excess to be used to help manage his affairs. If you can and would like to donate and leave a message please do so. If you do leave a message, if you like, please let us know where you are in the world and how you knew him, and what you do now - if you like.
Forever rest in peace dad X
- Ntunja C Mpoko
- Aniis Allen
- Jennifer Emiabata
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