Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
PROMINENT Bulawayo medical doctor, Dr Nicholas Ndebele, has died.
Dr Ndebele died on Wednesday morning at the Royal Hospital where he was recovering after returning to the country from India where he had gone for back surgery.
He was 69.
Dr Ndebele was the first black doctor to operate from Galen House in 1983.
His sister who is also Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Dr Sithembiso Nyoni confirmed his death on Wednesday.
“He passed on this morning. He recently returned from India where he had back surgery. We were hoping that he would recover but unfortunately he passed on today (Wednesday) in the morning,” said Dr Nyoni.
Galen House administrator, Mrs Nothando Dube, described Dr Ndebele as a father figure who had a holistic approach to his medical practice.
“He was very gentle and full of humour. He would make us feel free at work. He was also a father figure to many of us. Galen House has mainly a female environment but he would neutralise the environment. He was a mentor to many and we are saddened by his sudden departure. He also had a holistic approach to his medical practice. He would sometimes tell clients when the medication was not working that they should try the traditional ways in full realisation that as blacks there were issues that needed the traditional ways of treatment,” said Mrs Dube.
She said Dr Ndebele was one of the doctors who was attached to the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (Zipra) during the war of independence.
Mrs Dube said Dr Ndebele briefly worked at Mpilo Central Hospital between 1980 and 1981.
She said he joined the Zimbabwe National Army in 1981 where he served as doctor between 1981 and 1983.
Mrs Dube said in 1983 Dr Ndebele left the army and joined Galen House where he was a general practitioner until his death.
She said Dr Ndebele worked closely with the late Dr Garry Ferguson, the founder of Galen House who died last month and another senior practitioner, Dr Muriel Fallala.
Mpilo Central Hospital’s clinical director, Dr Solwayo Ngwenya said Dr Ndebele’s death was a huge loss to the medical fraternity.
He said Dr Ndebele was a brother who offered wise counsel to younger colleagues in the medical profession.
“Dr Ndebele worked closely with Dr Fallala in setting up Galen House with the late Dr (Garry) Ferguson. He was a big brother and helped us grow in the profession. We have lost a very good and great man. We are going to miss him dearly,” said Dr Ngwenya.
He said Dr Ndebele was one of the practitioners who worked closely with the late Vice President Dr Joshua Nkomo.
Yesterday a funeral service was held in honour of Dr Ndebele at the Roman Catholic Church in the central business district at 1PM before mourners proceeded to his rural home in Silobela, Midlands for burial.
He will be buried today in his rural home.
Dr Ndebele is survived by wife and four children. — @nqotshili.