Master teacher with charm and passion

Nyabela Pelle

Nyabela Pelle

When schools reopened for the last term on Monday, teachers and pupils at Tebogwana High School in GaRankuwa were greeted by the shocking news of the passing of an influential, industrious teacher, Jacob Montsho Ubane.

He died on Saturday, two days before schools opened.

Born and bred in Hebron village Ubs, as he was popularly known, matriculated at the local Modiri High School and went to Hebron College of Education, where he completed his secondary teacher's diploma.

His first teaching post was at the Tlhapi Moruwe High School in Wonderkop, Marikana, from 1987. In 1996 he joined Tebogwana High School under the late Billy Molefe.

He was rated as a disciplined teacher who didn't need a second invitation to get pupils in order.

In 2001 I attended the graduation ceremony of one of his former pupils in Wonderkop and one could just see the effect he had had on that community in the dignified welcome we received from the young and the elderly.

His 21 years of service in teaching is testimony to how much he enjoyed it. His mantra was that only death or old age would make him quit the profession he loved so much.

His masterly and articulate delivery of history and Setswana lessons helped many of his pupils excel, making them the envy of their peers.

He was diligent and for 15 years running he was one of the teachers who were asked to mark exam papers.

A man with a big heart and passion for education, he endeared himself to everyone he came in contact with.

A social butterfly of note, he was the heart of any party. I remember at one Sadtu closing party he was the first to break the ice with his kwasa-kwasa dance. Everyone followed suit.

In mid-September he was hospitalised at Legae Clinic in Mabopane.

He was discharged after a week but was readmitted a week later until his death on Saturday.

Ubane, who is survived by his wife Keneilwe, two daughters and three siblings, will be buried tomorrow at Hebron cemetery.

The cortege will leave his house in Mabopane Block X extension at 7am.