Cover photo for Bella Babs Ndlela's Obituary
Bella Babs Ndlela Profile Photo
1936 Bella 2020

Bella Babs Ndlela

July 17, 1936 — February 27, 2020

Bella Ndlela was born in a little of town called Mafeking, situated on the border of the Cape Province and Botswana on the north. She was born to Henry Selby and Miriam Noluthando Msimang. She was one of 10 children born to this well-known couple. Her father was a political activist who worked tirelessly for the course of Black Africans during the years of apartheid in South Africa. He was the co-founder of the political organization known today as the ANC (African National Congress). Her mother was a devout Seventh Day Adventist and a pioneer in fostering community outreach in the face of a harsh political environment.
The family moved around in South Africa and finally settled in Edendale, Pietermaritzburg in Kwa-Zulu Natal Province. This is where Bella spent her early childhood. She spent most of her time growing up in Christian schools, including Bethel Adventist College. In 1956 she embarked upon the career of Nursing at King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban, South Africa. After completing her General Nursing she went on to specialize in Obstetric Nursing (Labor & Delivery). Thereafter she went to Baragwaneth Hospital in Johannesburg which was at that time the largest hospital in the Southern Hemisphere. She pursued a specialty in Pediatric Nursing.
It was in 1963 when Bella met her husband Charles who was at that time was engaged in his studies at the University of Natal Medical School in Durban. They met in the Pediatric Dept at King Edward VIII hosp. After Charles completed his studies at Medical School in 1964, they got married on July 3.1965. They have been married for 46 years. When Charles proposed marriage to Bella, she asked "Have you prayed about it? You go and pray".
Unfortunately when Bella got married, her mother had passed away and only Selby Msimang was alive to see that day. He was not allowed by the apartheid regime even to give a speech to hand over his daughter because he was banned from attending public gatherings.
Despite all the political drama prevailing at the time, the wedding on July 3,1965, was indeed "the Wedding of the Year". It took place in Edendale and it was attended by dignitaries from all over the country. One of the striking features was that the bridal party was multiracial, which was rare in South Africa at the time. Bella and Charles have been blessed with 3 wonderful sons, Sibusiso, Bongani and Andile. Bella devoted all her early married life to raising and nurturing the 3 children.
1980 was a major milestone in the life of this family when they moved to the United States and settled in Loma Linda, California. There were a lot of adjustments to be made, and Bella did such a wonderful job of taking care of the entire family. With all the ups and downs, and Gods grace, the family was able to settle down. There have since been new additions to the family. Emily, her daughter-in law is married to Andy. Bella has been blessed with 2 beautiful grand daughters Nandi and Nia.
Bella's life can be summed up in 3 statements "Dedication to family". "Dedication to community" and "Dedication to God". Today her main focus is concentrated on the welfare of her grandchildren. There's nothing that she dreams of except to see them grow and she thanks the Lord all the time for such precious gifts. She sacrifices everything to see her family comfortable.
She practiced her profession of caring all round. Like her mother she has been sensitive to the needs of the disadvantaged and those that are in pain.
She loves to serve her God and exalt His name.

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