The family, friends, colleagues and staff of Dr Nopasika Pinzi-Mgudlwa have expressed shock and pain at her recent passing at the age of 49.
Pinzi-Mgudlwa passed away on September 17 due to lung cancer.
She was diagnosed with the disease in February 2020, forcing her to close her practice. In July she developed spinal metastasis.
“We have suffered a loss. She was a parent, she was everything to us at work, she loved us,” Thozama Sana said at the memorial service of Pinzi-Mgudlwa at St Michaels Church in Komani on Wednesday.
Sana, a staff member at Pinzi-Mgudlwa’s practice, said she started working for her after her previous employer had passed away in 2017. “Dr Pinzi-Mgudlwa took me in to work for her. She is a faith-based woman. She loved and trusted God. We started everything with prayer at her service. She loved us incredibly. She was a generous person.”
She recalled that Pinzi-Mgudlwa last worked in July 2020. “We closed but she carried on paying us even though her business was closed – that is Dr Pinzi. She was full of love. It is so painful to lose Nopasika but only God knows,” an emotional Sana told the gathering.
Lutendo Mukwevho-Xela, a midwife at Life Queenstown Private Hospital said: “She was not just a doctor, she was our parent and she led us with pride and dignity.”
Mukwevho-Xela spoke on behalf of several midwives who worked under Pinzi-Mgudlwa.
“She taught us the value of humanity, the value of understanding what it is to change somebody’s life, what it is to relate to a woman who has been praying for that one child,” Mukwevho-Xela said.
Many of the speakers noted Pinzi-Mgudlwa’s faith and belief in God.
“She did not want to act like God. She told her patients, ‘I might change your story but I am going to put my Father first’. That is what she did when she came to every ward and delivered each and every baby, she taught every midwife standing here that ‘we need to pray and say God, anything can happen but we depend on you to change this woman’s story, to restore somebody’,” said an emotional Mukwevho-Xela.
Pinzi-Mgudlwa, she said, had instilled such values in each and every one of the midwives standing with her at the service. “That was our mother, she knew our names, who we are. She knew the pain we went through and when she came to Life Hospital you would see her smile. She was never angry at us even if we did not follow her orders. She would never shout at us.”
She said Pinzi-Mgudlwa wanted midwives who were full of life. “She invested in us and she would sit down with us and say I want to change your story. She had an ability to change you and would do everything in her capacity to make you bring that smile so that you deliver each and every baby with an open heart.”
She created a happy feeling and atmosphere at both Life and at Frontier Hospital as a doctor.
During her last days of life and after being moved from the intensive care unit, she chose to be kept in the maternity ward. “It was time for us to nurse her, give her love. She trusted us.”
When she heard the news of Pinzi-Mgudlwa’s passing, Dr Robyn Spring shared this message: “Heaven gained an angel tonight. Love you, my friend and colleague, Dr Nopasika Pinzi. Rest easy, your legacy will remain.”