Obituary of Gugu Ndlovu
Gugu was born in Lusaka, Zambia on May 7, 1973. The first born to her Canadian mother Mary, and her Zimbabwean father, Edward. In 1980, the family moved to Zimbabwe and settle in Bulawayo. Gugu attended Waterford Primary School, Townsend Girls High School and later Havergal College in Toronto, where she spent four years as a boarder and completed high school. She was a competitive swimmer, training with the Beavers Swimming Club in Bulawayo, and competed at provincial, national and finally, an international level when she was selected to represent Zimbabwe at competitions in Europe.
She attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. It was there that she met and fell in love with Dominic Pearson. They soon moved to New York, where Gugu would finish her degree at Hunter College with an English major. They welcomed Zimmi, their first-born child in 1998.
In 2001, they moved to South Africa, settling in Cape Town for a short time before spending the next 10 years in Johannesburg. Gugu worked with Dominic in TV production and then worked in communications for the South African Ministry of Home Affairs and for an American company, Cummins. Gugu and Dominic then welcomed their second child, Kaya, in 2007, with their third child, Zoe, to follow in 2009.
A job offer led Gugu to move to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, where she spent 3 years before making the move to Canada. She lived in Calgary for one year before settling in Fort McMurray. Gugu worked as a supply teacher for the Catholic School Board and then as a Special Needs teacher at Holy Trinity Catholic High School. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 and was eventually forced to stop working in 2022. She suffered greatly, but was determined to live, as she loved life and had so much to live for - her children, her work and her community.
From her early years, Gugu has always been a doer, always busy, playing, reading, painting, writing, and making friends. She was curious, interested and seeking for the truth, finally settling into a Christian belief which she embraced with intensity. Gugu's faith was a core part of her identity and the guiding principle with which she lived by. She always worked hard at whatever she took on; learning on the job when necessary and using her creative instincts to find solutions. In the late 1990's and early 2000's, she published several short stories in Zimbabwean and South African collections. Another of her talents which she never found time to pursue further was painting. She did, however, spend a great deal of time and energy forming friendships wherever she went, and maintaining those made throughout her life. She reached out to many, helping where there was a need and enjoying companionship and love with a wide diversity of people. She kept in contact with a large number of people, including members of a very large extended family who are scattered around the world.
Gugu's children were her first love and focus and she was determined to keep going in these last months so that she could mother them for as long as possible. One of her happiest moments was in May, when she fought so hard to be well enough to emerge from a hospital bed to travel to her oldest son, Zimmi's graduation with a Masters degree in Economics in San Fransisco. All the family enjoyed two days of celebration together, even though Gugu was already very ill; but, with her characteristic positive spirit, she soldiered on for four more months, suffering the pain and discomfort in order to hang on to her family and life that she so cherished.
The Celebration of Life Funeral Service will be livestreamed on the Robert Anderson Funeral Services Inc. Facebook Page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/299409182850045/?ref=newsfeed