Thobile Patience Manana (BA Hons 1992, Cert Ed 2010), affectionately known as “Manox” or “Oprah”, died on 28 June Monday at the Netcare Hospital in Krugersdorp.
She grew up in Ekuvukeni in Wasbank, KwaZulu-Natal. She graduated from Sigweje Junior Secondary School and then did her PTC qualification at eMadadeni Training College. After high school she specialised in sociolinguistics, semantics, modern and traditional languages. In 2011, Manana was selected to take part in the “Leadership for Learning” at Harvard University in Massachusetts in the US. She spent the majority of her teaching time in Johannesburg at Jabulani Technical High School where she was the principal, and in 2012 implemented a turnaround strategy to move the school from 16% achievement to 66% and 88.8% the next year. Manana married Bhekisizwe Daniel Manana in 1984.
An avid Christian, she enjoyed travelling and public speaking. She is survived by her husband, her two sons Sicelo Nkosinathi and Sakhile Mthokozisi, and granddaughter Thandolwethu Heather Zamacusi Manana. She will be remembered for her verve for life, saying “I don’t need a billion rand to live my best life, I’m my own Oprah!”