Edward Mphaya Mphaphuli laid to rest in a dignified manner


Mphaya Edward Mphaphuli is no more.  Mourners filled the Wesleyan Church in Thohoyandou last Saturday to pay their last respect for the fallen hero.  The hero was buried at Tshilivho Ha Makhuvha cemetery.

Among those who attended the royal funeral was the deputy Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional affairs Mr Andries Nel who told the mourners that he had good relations with the deceased.

“I knew Mr Edward Mphaphuli as a person who love sports particularly boxing and soccer. This man was a great guy; he struggled to make things happen, even during the tough apartheid times. We will do our best to make sure our people get lands so that they can also be able create jobs for others.

Mphaphuli lived on a notion that no matter what background you come from, nothing will stop you from achieving your dreams.”

Born on 23 September 1933 at Tshilindi, now known as Mudavula (Malamulele).  He was the first born of Johannes and Tshamaano/Phophi Mphaphuli.

Mphaphuli started his schooling at Tlangelani, but a lack of funds forced him to drop out of school, whereafter he worked on farms in the Levubu area. He later went back to school and continued from Std 3 until he completed Std 6 in 1953.

During this time he was staying with Mr Mashaba at Tlangelani, who had adopted him until he completed his studies as a teacher.  He successfully underwent training as a Higher Primary teacher at Lemana from 1954 to 1955.

Right from teacher training, he started teaching at Muswane Primary School as a principal from 1956 until 1968. In 1968, the apartheid government intensified its policies of separate development, and as he was working in a typical Shangaan area, he was forced to leave Muswane, through a process then known as GG.  He became the principal of Sigwavhulimu Senior Primary School from 1968 to 1982.  He proceeded to be the principal of Matodzi Secondary School from 1982 until he retired in 1992.   He furthered his studies at the University of Venda, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts from 1981 to 1983.  He was a principal throughout his professional working life.

Gunyukunyu was married to Rose Tsakani Mathebula in 1958.  The family was blessed with nine children, four daughters, Fulufhelo Faith, Lindelani, Vhutshilo, and Vhusafheli, as well as five sons, Collins, Justice, Lufuno, Pfarelo and Ndivhuho.

When he was at Muswane he was a member of Swiss Mission Presbyterian Church.  At Tshimbupfe he joined the Dutch Reformed Church.  He switched to Faith Mission Church in 1977.

At Thohoyandou he became a member of Wesleyan Church.  He was a lay preacher, a treasurer of Limpopo Wesleyan District from 2000 to 2008, and was also a signatory of Wesleyan District, Limpopo.  He was involved in many issues of the local church.  He was immensely hospitable. In his family, he accommodated a good number of children and ministers of different churches.

During “Apartheid” he was detained “90 days without trial” for his political involvement.

He taught many people how to drive.  He was the secretary of SGB of Thohoyandou Secondary School, and secretary of the VHAALUWA structure.  He was hooked to Phalaphala FM.  He undertook a number of Phalaphala trips after retirement until his children decided against his further travels due to ill health.  He loved sports, especially boxing and soccer.

He is survived by eight children, 26 grand children and 3 great grand children.  He is predeceased by his daughter Lindelani, his wife Rose, his brother Daniel and his sister Margret.

Thapelo Motseo

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