Outstanding teacher and playwright

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Many in the education fraternity in Eastern Cape are mourning the death of Sonny Derrick Nonxuba, the well-known principle of the Dr Stamper Junior Secondary School.

Nonxuba, affectionately known as "Bro Sirrh" by friends and colleagues, was the second of four children. He was born in Grahamstown in 1948.

He studied at Tshetshi Higher Primary School, at the Andrew Moyake High School in Grahamstown and at the Nathaniel Pamla High School in Peddie. He trained as a teacher at Lovedale Training College in Alice.

Newly qualified, Nonxuba returned to Grahamstown, where he taught history and isiXhosa at the Nathaniel Nyaluza High School.

Nonxuba, who was noted for his wonderful sense of humour, excelled at rugby and played for local teams Sedru and Old Collegians.

Nonxuba's many talents included acting and scriptwriting. He wrote Undancama and other plays. He helped to produce a school dramatisation of the isiXhosa novel Buzani Ku Bawo, by KSBongela, and assisted in a church production of the play Ndiyasindwa Ngumthwalo Endinawo, which was performed by young members of the Livingstone Congregational Church.

In 1975 he moved to Peddie, where he taught at his former school, Nathaniel Pamla High. In 1981 he was appointed principal of the Dr Stamper school in Runletts location, near Peddie.

Nonxuba married Ntiti Mbutuma in 1987. They had a son, Chumani, who died.

Nonxuba furthered his education by obtaining an advanced certificate in education from the University of Pretoria and a bachelor of education honours degree at Stellenbosch.

Nonxuba will be buried at Peddie Cemetery tomorrow after a church service at his home, which will start at 9.15am.

He is survived by his widow, his grandchildren and three sisters.