UBH’s first black nurse dies


Milia Macala Dube nee Sigogo, one of the pioneer nurses in colonial Rhodesia was the first black nurse to work at the then predominantly white serving institution.

Her sister Leah Mazithulela said Dube passed away in South Africa on Tuesday where she was receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment.

Mazithulela described her elder sister as a principled and cheerful lady who was full of love. “She was an iron lady but very principled and hard working. One of the reasons that saw her rise through the ranks to become matron at the institution.


Her nursing wasn’t confined to hospital but to relatives as well and her home was like a hospital,” said Mazithulela. She said her sister, a staunch Seventh Day Adventist, lived a clean and healthy life and had only been admitted to a health institution once before when she gave birth.

Mazithulela said Dube was born in Filabusi, Shamba area in 1941 and did her primary education at Shamba Primary before proceeding to Matopo Mission for her secondary education.

“After school she trained as a nurse at Mpilo Hospital in the early 60s and graduated in 1964,” she said. At the graduation Dube was named the best nurse and received a golden award and trophy after scoring distinctions in all her subjects.

Mazithulela said Dube’s career started at Mpilo Hospital before she was transferred to UBH in the late 60s due to her excellence. At UBH, Dube became the first black nurse at the institution and rose through the ranks to become matron, a post she held until retirement in 2000 after serving for 36 years.

Mazithulela said Dube got married to the late Khanda Dube who was a teacher and headmaster at Sobukhazi High School. Dube’s body will be flown into the country tomorrow and burial is expected to be at Lady Stanley Cemetery on Sunday.

She is survived by two children, Jabulani and Nontokozo, and two grandchildren. Mourners are gathered at 386 Gorebridge Avenue in Killarney.


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