Legendary maths teacher mourned

Mbulelo Notasi Komani.
“When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see, that in truth you are weeping for  that which has been your delight”.

So apt are the words of Kahlil Gibran in capturing our pain as the community of Cape Town at the passing away of Mbulelo Notasi Komani on Thursday July 11 following a long illness. 

Many know him simply as Notasi, learners know him as utishala uNotasi, some sports officials called him Mr Notasi, in detention, Theron, the prison head called him Tas. His friends called him Tasboy. Ndoda Mbatsha, usaluka wakhe, called him Thazmama.

Notasi, was a whole person, fully rounded with multiple abilities. An aspiring lawyer who got kicked out of the great University of Fort Hare for being part of the strike action, he found his true calling in the revered profession of pedagogy (One has to use some big words because he was at Fort Hare),teaching, that is.

The teacher

“The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, amongst his followers gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness. If he indeed is wise, he does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.” 

So it was with Tasboy, his emphasis and concern were not primarily meeting the targets but rather the transformation of the black child and the development to realise hers or his true potential and rise above the forsaken condition that they are born into and raised within.

As a dedicated maths and science teacher it was not beyond his call and duty to organise youth and start what is now the well-known Khayelitsha Cricket Club with the help of one of the top cricketers of the day, Andile Dyasi. This is a task that looked impossible in the sandy and windswept dumping ground that was Khayelitsha then, where there were no sporting facilities, youth roamed the streets, a place meant to break the spirit. He saw youth beyond maths and science students. He saw  future leaders in them, he saw the potential to take them out of this miserable sandpit, he saw the future in them. That was in 1992 Khayelitsha was on about 7 years in the making then.

There are many other initiatives that he was involved in ranging from environmental issues to arts and culture, too many to mention in this limited space. 

Remember at ID Mkhize he was a leading actor, who went on to star in Buzani kubawo, an isiXhosa classic, playing the role of uNgxabane.

The friend

“In the sweetness of friendship, let there be laughter. For in the dew of little things, does the heart find it morning and is refreshed”.

So it was when you were in his company. Regaling you with stories that, uzakuthi sele uhleli wedwa okanye uphakathi kwabanye abantu, uqhuzuleke  ngentsini wakuzicinga, ubengathi ushiywa zingqondo kwabakubukeleyo.

That was Cirha, Ncibane, Khawuta, Nojaholo, Mhlantla, Nyembezana, Mhlathendlovu, uDyakalashe, Ntswentswe, Qhanqolo, Ntlokwenyani, Sihlobo SikaPhalo, Hloml’iphuthi lidala linempondo, MGcaleka.

His memorial service will be at Luhlaza High School in Khayelitsha on Thursday July 18, from 1:30pm. He will be buried on Saturday July 20.