By Thandeka Moyo
Mpilo Central Hospital Clinical Director Dr Solwayo Ngwenya can die now, well according to the renowned gynaecologist, as his legacy can live on after his sixth child was born at a hospital that he built, Royal Women’s Hospital in Bulawayo on Thursday.
Baby Zimangele Ngwenya is Dr Ngwenya’s first child to be born at the state-of-the-art hospital.
She was born naturally at around noon to Dr Ngwenya and his wife Ms Princess Mnkandla.
An ecstatic Dr Ngwenya (47) told The Chronicle that he was not stopping until he has at least 10 children, then he can “retire” at the age of 60. “I am happy that my daughter was delivered at a hospital that I built from scratch, something that never crossed my mind when I was growing up. I look back at my painful background and can only be grateful to God for taking me this far,” he said reflecting on his past.
“We named her Zimangele because we are amazed at how we have pulled through as a family and as a business despite hardships that are all around us”.
Dr Ngwenya, who describes himself as a hard core traditionalist, believes in big families and will stop at nothing to ensure his family grows.
“I am a proud Nguni boy who won’t forsake his culture in the name of modernisation and as part of my legacy, I should have more children so that my surname can live for the next 300 years. If my two wives cannot bear me the children I need, I will gladly marry more wives as that is more than acceptable in our culture,” he said.
Dr Ngwenya said he is grateful to his parents who defied old age to conceive him, unlike modern families that subscribe more to Western and foreign cultures.
“I am the last born in my family, the 20th child and my father was 63 and my mother was 46 when I was born. Had it been modern couples, I was not going to live to tell the testimony that it is very possible for a Lupane herdboy to become a celebrated gynaecologist and own a hospital,” he said.
His parents’ names are found in some wards at his hospital and he uses them to celebrate their sacrifice.
His 30-bed hospital was built in 2011 and opened to members of the public in 2012.
Dr Ngwenya named the wards after influential people who have touched his life since his herdboy days in Lupane.
One of the wards was named after his former Literature teacher, Mrs Beatrice Erlwanger, who paid his school fees together with her husband Dr John Erlwanger when he dropped out of school due to economic challenges.
Dr Ngwenya said he is particular about names hence all his children’s names have meanings.
The eldest child, a girl, is called Sobukhosi followed by Nqobile, Mangomhle, Ngwazikazi, Mthabowabo and lastly Zimanagele.
Besides maternal health services, Royal Women’s Clinic also offers general surgical operations, cancer services for men and immunisation. The Chronicle.