Emeritus Prof Marivate to be laid to rest in Pretoria North

Emeritus Prof Marivate to be laid toi rest in Pretoria tomorrow

Emeritus Prof Marivate the father of multiple pregnancies to be laid to rest

Benson Ntlemo

Emeritus Professor Martin Marivate who was the son of the late Reverend DC Marivate of Valdesia will be laid to rest in Pretoria North tomorrow.

The laid Prof was the 5th son of DC Marivate who was the author of the first Xitsonga novel, Sasavona in 1936.

The late Dr Marivate

Born on November 8 1934, he died on August 4 of natural causes.

He was no ordinary man.

. Except for him being the son of the legendary Reverend Daniel Marivate who is accredited with having the first novel in Xitsonga, Sasavona, he himself was regarded as an authority on twin pregnancies.

He was the 5th born son of Reverend Marivate his wife Mrs Bertha Marivate (nee Manhengheni). His siblings, in order, were Charles, Cornel, Russell, Cecil; then Richard and Desiree. Only Cornel survives.

DC Marivate was also a schoolmaster, author of the first Xitsonga novel and also recorded music in London in the 1930s.

He also led the Boy Scout Movement in South Africa and abroad and somehow conjured up a hefty proportion of the music in the hymn book of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of SA (EPCSA).

 DC’s music had (and still retains) a certain lyrical quality and a deceptive ease of rhythm that was borne of a superlative, effortless talent.

From his innately joyful and sanguine disposition in later life, it is evident that Martin enjoyed a thoroughly uncomplicated boyhood, herding his father’s cattle and doing the simple things that a boy in his circumstance might enjoy. He went on to Lemana High School, where he would be head boy before matriculating.

When he grew up, apart from his iconic father, his elder brother Charles was also his role model.

This is because by the time he matriculated, Charles was a medical student in Durban.

 Charles, who was ten years older, now inspired Martin to study medicine at the University of Natal, which had somehow contrived, in spite of apartheid, to establish a medical faculty reserved exclusively for Africans.

The young Russell later joined them, and the Marivate boys were trailblazers on campus.

 To his children, Martin would joyfully recount how he and his brother would wow university crowds with their virtuosity in concerts, with Martin on bass guitar, and Russell on the piano.

After graduating, Martin stayed on at the university, specialising in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and he went on to become a world authority in the field, in particular in twin and multiple pregnancies.

He co-authored several dozen research papers on the subject, sharing honours with fellow Obstetricians from as far afield as Australia and the USA, and he was cited extensively in text books and other research articles the world over. To this day, his legions of students still call him “the father of multiple pregnancies”.

In 1991 his teaching work took him to the Medical University of South Africa (MEDUNSA) where he worked until retirement in 2000. In these later years, he was instrumental in integrating Cuban doctors into the SA health system.

He was an incandescently intelligent man, yet gentle and patient with all. His tastes were decidedly ascetic, and he disdained excess.

Martin and his wife Maud had five children. Besides his brother Cornel, Maud survives him, as do his five children, fourteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Condolences have come from far and wide including from the University of Free State, University of KwaZulu Natal as well as Sefako Makgato University.

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