Wise and knowledgable man

Sowetan Reporter

Sowetan Reporter

The community of Palm Springs in Sebokeng has lost a school master of note in Daniel Ntandabuzo Benjamin.

He was the granddad of popular talk-show host Criselda Kananda.

Kananda was a dedicated community member committed to its development through leading by example.

He died from natural causes four months before his 80th birthday. He also worked hard in church structures of the Methodist Church, Sebokeng-Evaton.

To those who enjoyed close relations with him, he was known as a man of great wisdom.

His knowledge was acquired over almost seven decades. In 1948 he sat for the Joint Matriculation Board and passed with good grades.

He then enrolled for a Secondary School Teacher's Diploma at the Pretoria Normal College, graduating in 1952. The diploma was then known as Bantu Teachers' Diploma.

Kananda taught at various schools, studied further and became a school inspector.

In 1977 he graduated from the University of South Africa with a Bachelor of Arts degree and in 1987 Kananda received a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of the Witwatersrand.

He had dedicated 30 years of his life to public service and for this Kananda was recognised by the Department of Education in 1991.

Kananda was a man of good standing said a representative at his church, who described him as someone who was loved and respected by both young and old.

"He was kind, yet strict. He was very neat and very disciplined. I have never known anyone who respected time as much as he did.

"The saying 'time is money' was his motto. As a musician and choir master for a long time, he adjudicated many choir competitions," the representative said.

Kananda's dedication and hard work did not go unnoticed. He was appointed by the church to serve as circuit steward for the Vaal North Circuit in 1992.

While he was choir master his choir won two significant championships. In 1981 it won a secondary schools national championship and in 1987 the choir won the Methodist Church Choir provincial championship.

Criselda described her grandfather as: "My daddy of all times. He so generously looked after me in time of desperation.

"He was a man of stature, proud of his Xhosa heritage, and he taught me to love and respect myself and to never lose the truth of being a true African jewel.

"His one wish was for us all to embrace education so, to honour his wish, we ask those who will attend his funeral to wear their academic gowns," she said.

Kananda will be laid to rest tomorrow. A short prayer will be held at his home at 979 Section B, Palm Springs, and will leave for no 1, Evaton Central Methodist Church, where a full service will start at 8am.

The cortege leaves for the Evaton Cemetery at 11am. People should thereafter go to the Palm Springs hall.