Africa University 25th Graduation Ceremony
Professor Bhebe’s wife commends Government for declaring him national hero

The late Professor Ngwabi Bhebe’s wife, Dr Faith Ntabeni-Bhebe, has expressed gratitude to the government for conferring him with national hero status.

The government acknowledged the contributions that Professor Bhebe, the founding Vice Chancellor of Midlands State University (MSU), made to education in the country, both before and after independence.Aged 81 years, Professor Bhebe passed away on Friday afternoon due to complications from diabetes at the Midlands Private Hospital in Gweru.

Soon after his death, he was declared a national hero, an honour bbestowed on individuals who have made significant and lasting impacts on the nation.

In an interview on Monday, Dr Ntabeni-Bhebe commended the government for recognising her late husband’s efforts in promoting education and his invaluable service on various local and international boards.

“My husband passed away on Friday, and by Saturday, he had been declared a national hero. This signifies that the government was closely observing and acknowledging the remarkable work he carried out as a civilian.

“We are deeply grateful for the heroes’ status bestowed upon him; it is a well-deserved recognition,” she said.

Dr Ntabeni-Bhebe also spoke fondly of her late husband’s personal qualities, describing him as a friend, a devoted Christian, and a hardworking individual. She emphasised his unwavering dedication to his work and his ability to swiftly accomplish his goals.

“I witnessed his tremendous commitment to his work. I watched him use his personal resources to build MSU from the ground. Once he set his mind on something, he pursued it until he achieved his objectives. He was focused in everything he did, just as he was when he constructed
MSU,” she said.

A family member, Reginald Matshaba-Hove, described Professor Bhebe as a witty, brilliant, humorous, and humble man.

He said both the family and the nation have lost a mentor and a visionary leader.

“As a family, Professor Bhebe expressed his readiness to embrace death during his 80th birthday celebration last year, repeated the same sentiments at his farewell party and at a farewell party of another Professor last week,” revealed Matshaba-Hove, who paid tribute to Dr.

Ntabeni-Bhebe for taking good care of her husband for the period theystayed together.

Prof Bhebe, who will be laid to rest at the national shrine on Saturday, is survived by his wife, five children and nine grandchildren. – New Ziana

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