Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Plumtree Correspondent
MANGWE-based Roman Catholic parish priest and writer, Father Innocent Makawule Ndlovu, has published his 10th book ‘The Memoirs of Monsignor Bernard Ndlovu’, a tribute to the first catholic priest who was appointed from the Matabeleland region.
Ndlovu, who is based at St Anne’s Brunapeg Mission, wrote the book to mark the first anniversary of Monsignor Ndlovu who died last year in January.
In the book, he highlights the life of Monsignor Ndlovu from his birth up to 2015 when he marked 57 years of ordination at the age of 90. He also narrates the works of the late priest who has been identified as an outstanding figure in the Roman Catholic Church.
“This book is a biography on the life of Monsignor Bernard Ndlovu. I decided to publish it now to mark the anniversary of his death as he died last year in January.
“I believe that this book will act as a source of inspiration mostly to youths in the Matabeleland Region as Monsignor Ndlovu went to South Africa in search of employment without any qualifications, but that didn’t work out for him just like many youngsters from the region,” Ndlovu said.
Monsignor Ndlovu was born in Shashane area in Matobo district but later moved to Mangwe District where he did his primary education at Gwangu School which is today known as Makorokoro Primary School. He was baptised at Empandeni Mission in 1943. He did philosophical and theological studies and was ordained a deacon in 1957.
Monsignor Ndlovu was further ordained as a priest on October 26 in 1958 at Empandeni Mission and was later appointed priest of the Archdiocese of Bulawayo which also covered Matabeleland Region. In 1961, he established the Solidarity for Ladies Association in Matabeleland Region which is an association for ladies of the Roman Catholic Church.
He also played an active role in translating the Bible into IsiNdebele and the production of a Ndebele prayer book and hymn book for the Roman Catholic Church. Monsignor Ndlovu, who held several positions in the Roman Catholic Church worldwide, also penned several books and was conferred Monsignor by the late Pope John Paul 11.
“Monsignor Ndlovu is an important figure especially to Matabeleland because he was the first person from the region who was appointed a priest.
“His life forms a great part of the history of the church and therefore should be celebrated,” Ndlovu said.