PERSON OF passion

Peggy Nkomo

Peggy Nkomo

Well-known academic Mary Kau, of Dorandia in Pretoria North, had a passion for learning and to serve her community.

She was so committed to helping her people that even after her retirement she continued to work.

Her illustrious career however came to an end last Thursday when she aged 72.

Her long illness did not deter Kau from executing her duties of serving the community.

At the time of her death Kau was employed at a pharmacy in Orchards, Pretoria.

A world-renowned academic, Kau was the first of eight children born to Sarah and the late Piet Sindane of Emhluzi, Middelburg, in Mpumalanga.

Having recognised the value of education, she held several degrees and diplomas, including an Master of Arts in community health from Fort Hare University, an Mater of Science from Pennsylvania in the US, and a PhD from the University of South Africa.

Kau qualified as a nursing sister in the late 1950s. After qualifying as a midwife at McCord Hospital in Durban. She worked as a clinical instructor at the Pretoria General Hospital and later as a senior tutor at the family planning centre.

In 1983 she was appointed by the then University of Bophuthatswana and tasked to set up the department of nursing sciences as a senior lecturer.

She was acting dean of the School of Health and Social Sciences and later associate professor. She retired in 1990.

Through her passion and love for her profession, Kau continued to work at Technikon South Africa as a tutor and external examiner.

She has co-authored and published several books and articles and also presented papers at a number of local and international conferences and symposia.

The life and times of this great academic and community builder finally came to a halt last week when her Creator called her to eternal rest.

Kau will be buried at Nina Park Cemetery in Pretoria North tomorrow. The service will be held at the Pretoria North town hall's club, in Rendezvous, from 8am.

She is survived by her mother, husband, two children, a grandson and three siblings.