A compassionate intellectual

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The education and business fraternities have lost a valuable member with the death of Derek Masipa Kobe on Tuesday after a long illness.

The former principal of Morris Isaacson High School in Soweto was passionate about his job and business. He also had a school in Lebowakgomo named after him.

Kobe lost his wife a month ago. It is believed his wife's death had affected him so much that he could not cope without her.

Affectionately known as "Nduna" or "Tshipi", Kobe started teaching at Orlando High School in 1948. He contributed positively to numerous people by offering assistance in many forms. He became a schools inspector in Gauteng from 1968 to 1970.

Kobe moved to Limpopo in 1970 where he displayed diligence, compassion, dedication and professionalism. He retired in 1986.

Born on June 22 1921 at Lepheela village in HaMaila in Botlokwa, Kobe attended a local school and later went to Musina before completing matric at Kgaiso High School in Seshego. He then read for a BA Ed degree at the University of Fort Hare from 1944 to 1947.

He married Refilwe in September 1955 and they had four children. His family lived in Dube, Soweto, before moving to GaRamokgopa in 1970.

His daughter, Tebogo Makgabo, described him as a handsome "introvert" who loved classical music, reading and intellectual discussions.

"He was a true gentleman who took good care of himself. He also put the needs of his family and of the people before his own," Makgabo said.

Kobe will be buried at GaRamokgopa in Botlokwa on Sunday at 7am.