Last week brought news of the tragic passing of one our enke family, Nnete Malebo. On Thursday 23 October,Nnete was found in her residence room at the University of Cape Town and an autopsy determined that she died of natural causes. She was just one month away from graduating and was preparing to embark on a Master’s programme. She was 21 years old.
Nnete is survived by her parents and two older brothers. She was laid to rest on Saturday 1 November in her hometown of Bloemfontein and our deepest condolences and sympathy go to her family.
Since we heard about the death of this incredible young woman, we have been dumbstruck with disbelief and grief.
She was an Igniter in our very first Forum in Cape Town in 2012. Nnete touched our lives with her dedication, her spunk, her smile, her laughter, and her ability to listen and make you feel better. She had an indelible impact on the Trailblazers she worked with during that first Forum in Cape Town and the support and encouragement she gave to them afterwards. We are so thankful that this young woman chose to be part of our lives and our enke family.
Nnete made her mark in many lives and organizations. She was an Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Scholar and Fellow. She was active in the UCT community as a subwarden in Clarinus Residence, Vice-President in UCT’s Investment Society and was involved in other campus organizations and activities.
To us, Nnete will always be a role model. In her short life, she showed us the power of commitment, dedication and passion.
We would like to thank the enke family members who took time to get in touch and share the news with us, and who represented the people Nnete had touched by attending her memorial service and funeral. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, whose care and support enabled her to become the young woman and inspiration she has been to us.
For those who knew Nnete, we would like to ask you to join us in celebrating her life by sharing your memories of her, or the impact that she had on you on our Facebook wall – enke: Make Your Mark.
“You can shed tears that she is gone,
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her only that she is gone,
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what she’d want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”
– David Harkins”