Eulogy for Vanessa Angela Ngamiza-Banda - late IAZ Secretary

Eulogy for Vanessa Angela Ngamiza-Banda, born on 17 October 1958. Returned to her Creator on 06 April 2023.

I first met Vanessa, 16 years ago, in  the year 2007, when we interviewed her for the position of Secretary to the Institute of Architects of Zimbabwe (IAZ). She was an eloquent, classy and confident professional woman with a high level presentation of herself and her capabilities. We were only pleased to have her join the Institute of Architects and Architects Council of Zimbabwe, as soon as we finished the interview because of the attributes she evidently exhibited and she became an integral part of the IAZ & ACZ from that moment till her last day at work, 5 days before she passed away from Breast Cancer.

Having come from a teaching and then insurance background, this was the first time for her to work in a Built Environment entity. She however was not perturbed and assured us that she would be able to handle the job. She became and continued to be to the last day of her life with the Institute to be a person that was reliable, knowledgeable, amicable, soft-spoken and a person with immense institutional memory.  Vanessa knew all the members of the fraternity and the graduate students that visited the IAZ offices by name. Not only did she know our names, she knew our areas of operation. She handled all the members with an aptitude that made one feel special.  She wore her smile always and all of us can testify that we never saw her lose her temper no matter what pressure of work she was under. She had an interesting form of shrugging her shoulders with a smile to light the room up.

She put order in what she did. She was a fashionista, always dressed with an elegant style that was evident as you came into her presence. In her soft spoken voice, she commanded authority, respect and still managed to remain uncomplicated – she was always Van to all of us.

The Institute of Architects is at a loss. We have lost an institutional memory, a kind and good heart, generous of spirit, a friendly and smiling face to many and all, a guide and a gentle instructor, self-motivated and self-supervising but still able to listen and respect those working with her. 

During her period at the IAZ, she served under eight different presidents of the Institute of Architects of Zimbabwe. Despite her busy schedule, she also held the position of acting Registrar till the position was filled by an Architect and she furthered her studies to acquire her Masters Degree. Vanessa was not only a Secretary but she quietly was the treasurer as well. She also ran with the Architects Professional Practice Examination together with the Chairman (Registered Architect), as well as the various Architects conferences that were held over the years.

Vanessa will be greatly missed by all us. A good and trusted friend. We will remember her always. MHSRIP.

Vanessa is survived by her three girls, all of whom impressively remind us of Vanessa in their different personalities. We pray that God continues to comfort Van’s children.

Eulogy by Architect Irene Masiyanise 

On behalf of the Institute of Architects of Zimbabwe.