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Zwelethemba’s Ma’am passes

Philanthropist, activist and community builder, Emily Matross, affectionately known as “Ma’am” from Zwelethemba passed away on Tuesday 21 May after a long illness.

“She had been ill for quite some time and she passed away in hospital,” said Nontutuzelo Matross.

Emily Matross, affectionately known as “Ma’am” from Zwelethemba passed away at the age of 92.Photo:

Emily (92) was well known in the community and started as a teacher in 1948 teaching until 1980. “After her career as a teacher she went into business, successfully running a shop. In 1996 she started the Nonkululeko Day-Care Centre for the Aged with two other ladies from the community, Mrs Mgoboza and Mrs November. The ACVV played a big role in assisting my mother in putting the service centre, which is still running today, on its feet. The service centre cares for the elderly from morning until 14:00 in the afternoon where they get two meals,” says Nontutuzelo. Emily was also the founder of Zanokhanyo Crèche and Zanokhanyo Finishing School which was short lived.

“Whenever I came to my mother’s house, there was always a knock on the door. Whether it was for something to eat or just some advice,” Nontutuzelo adds.

Nontutuzelo says the most important thing her mother taught them was to share. “No matter how little you had, sharing was who she was. She also taught us to care for others even if you don’t know them,” says Nontutuzelo.

“My mom is the woman who made me into the woman I am today, and for that I am forever grateful. We have made peace with her passing, but we and the entire community will miss her dearly. The Matross family wishes to thank everyone for the support given to us during this difficult time,” says Nontutuzelo.

A memorial service arranged by local school teachers was held on Wednesday, 22 May. “I can see that the community appreciated what she did and the contribution she made. She always put others before her,” adds Nontutuzelo.

Emily was laid to rest on Saturday and leaves behind her two children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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