Marina Margaret NCWANA (née Kunene)


Marina Margaret NCWANA (née Kunene)       Photo credit: Sarah Onyango

NCWANA, Marina Margaret (née Kunene) On Saturday, April 14, 2018 Marina Margaret Ncwana, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and grandaunt, passed away rather suddenly at the age of 83. Born in Dundee, the Province of KwaZulu/Natal in South Africa, she attended the Marian Hill Boarding School in Durban and trained as a nurse at the Coronation Hospital in Johannesburg. She went to England for further training to specialize in obstetrics, pediatrics and geriatrics. In 1962 she proceeded to the United States where she continued her studies in obstetrics at the Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.

She then immigrated to Canada in 1964 and nursed at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal until the end of 1965 when she moved to Ottawa where she served as a Registered Nurse in obstetrics at the Ottawa Civic Hospital for 12 years before going on to the Ottawa General Hospital in a similar capacity until her retirement in 2000. Her devotion to service in obstetrics is evidenced by the substantial quantity of acknowledgments she received over her years of nursing, from patients for whom she had cared.

She was preceded in death in 2017 by her sister Daphne Khumalo. She is survived by her husband Ezra, a former school teacher; her two sons, Llewellyn (Andrea Buckle) and Bafana (Natalie McDonnell); five grandchildren Risa, Hunter, Lincoln, Falo, and Fiadh. A great lover of music and an avid gardener, she volunteered at the Jazz Festival every summer for a number of years and enjoyed touring the Tulip Gardens every Spring. Being very fond of people, she frequently entertained friends in her home and provided edibles that she herself had cooked or baked.

A visitation will take place on Thursday, April 26 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at CAPITAL FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY 3700 Prince of Wales Drive 613-692-1211 The Funeral Service will be held at the Ottawa Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 2200 Benjamin Avenue, Ottawa on Friday, April 27 at 11:00 a.m. Following the Service, the burial will take place at Capital Funeral Home and Cemetery with a reception thereafter.

Any donations in her name can be made to the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County, 1750 Russel Road, Ottawa, ON K1G 9Z9. Online condolences and sharing memories at


Tribute by Sarah Onyango

It was an honour and a privilege, today, to join Ottawa’s South African community in bidding a fond farewell to one of their beloved elders. The irony is not lost on me that as I celebrate another year of life, I spent most of the day celebrating the life of an extraordinary woman who departed this life after spending several decades helping women give birth to the next generation (including our current Prime Minister!). Auntie M., your 100-watt smile, infectious laugh, cheeky sense of fun, love of nature and people will be missed more than you know. Thank you for giving so much of yourself to this community and brightening so many lives. You have indeed left a powerful legacy. Hamba Kahle! 

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