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The late Ms Hlekani Leah Razwiedani Gangazhe, who was laid to rest on Saturday, 24 February. Photo supplied.

Former principal and community builder Leah Razwiedani dies

 

A prominent community leader, philanthropist, and former principal, Ms Hlekani Leah Razwiedani Gangazhe (née Maluleke), was laid to rest on Saturday (24th) at Makonde Tshipetane Cemetery. She passed away on 15 February after being admitted to the Polokwane Mediclinic. A memorial service was held for her at her church at Tshilidzini Hospital on Friday, 23 February, during which several people spoke about some of her remarkable achievements.

She was born in 1939 at Gertrudsberg, the former Berlin Missionary Station near Louis Trichardt. The mission station, established in the late 1800s by German missionaries, served as a home to dozens of black families, many of whom worked in town. In the 1960s, these families were forcefully removed to areas such as Zamenkomste, in the western part of the Kutama area.

Razwiedani started school in 1947 and passed her matric in 1954. She went on to earn her teaching diploma at the then Venda Training Institute, where she studied from 1955 to 1957. She began teaching at primary schools in Tshimbupfe (1958), Duthuni (1959-1960), Nkuri (1961-1964), Khakhanwa (1965-1966), and Tshisevhe (1967-2004). At Tshisevhe, she served as principal until her retirement.

Her love for education was unquestionable. Among her many qualifications was a BA degree and Higher Education Degree she obtained from the University of Venda. Besides her academic career, Razwiedani kept herself busy with community upliftment projects and was also an active member of her church. She was involved in politics and joined the ANC early in life.

Razwiedani was known for her compassion for struggling communities. She took care of many needy children, including those of some family members, from Tshimbupfe in Vuwani and Nkuri. She also loved traveling and visited many European countries as well as the United States. Her children, Funzani and Khathutshelo, described her as a loving and caring person with a passion for philanthropy. She also encouraged them to pursue education.

"Every December was traveling time. We would board a first-class coach and would spend the whole trip to Joburg singing. My mother introduced me to good taste in clothing, for which I am still grateful today. She also personally taught me how to drive," said her son, Khathutshelo.

In 1960, Razwiedani married her husband, the late Mr Tshinanga Wilson Razwiedani Gangazhe. Their union was blessed with four children: Nkhangweleni, Sybil, Khathutshelo, and Funzani. She is survived by her four children, 20 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. She also leaves behind two sisters, Ms Isabel Nemakhavhani and Ms Annah Ndou, and a host of devoted nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

 

 

Date:01 March 2024

By: Elmon Tshikhudo

Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and was a permanent part of the news team until 2019.

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