Victoria "Ntozi" Mahlangeni-Byndon was born in Tlokweng (Gaborone), Botswana, on November 25, 1949, to Aurelia (Nodoli) and Dick Mahlangeni, during the era of Apartheid. Victoria was educated in Botswana, where she was recognized as a top math and science student. She received a full scholarship to Harvard University--but on one condition, she had to study English. And if you knew Victoria telling her what to study was not happening. Victoria and her mother wrote to the United Nations, and she received a full-merit scholarship from the University of Belgrade to study medicine. While in medical school in Europe, she developed a love for traveling throughout Europe during her breaks--Germany, and Sweden, to name a few. She graduated as a Medical Doctor and commenced her practice in 1977 in Molepolole, Botswana. There she was known as Botswana's Doctor. Dr. Victoria would deliver babies, do surgeries, and the next day fly on a small airplane to villages in the Kalahari desert to see patients.
In 1977, she met A'Jamal Byndon, a Peace Corp Volunteer from Nebraska. She was later transferred to Lobatse, Botswana, where A'Jamal and Vicky married on June 1, 1979. Vicky's mother supported the marriage to A'Jamal and their move to their new home in Omaha, Nebraska, to start a new home and family. A'Jamal did not have to pay lobola (bride price in cattle) because his mother-in-law knew he was a low-income volunteer.
They were married for 43 years and raised four children. Her greatest gift was to accept and demonstrate unconditional love, particularly to the elderly. Vicky used her expertise to work with the elderly population for over 30 years and dedicated her life to being an extraordinary caregiver to the most vulnerable. She was fully committed to her job, no matter how big or small the task, and would complete her assignments with the utmost care. It was vitally important to her to make their last years memorable. She was truly the Caregiver for All.
She deeply cared for others, reflected in her occupation and even the decision to allow refugees from Iraq to stay in her home until they found suitable accommodation when A'Jamal did refuge work. Vicky's parents were refugees in Bechuanaland Protectorate in the 1940s and later became Botswana to escape apartheid in South Africa, she always remembered where she came from and the help her family received.
Vicky was fun-loving and enjoyed travel, museums, adventure, cooking, researching (she Googled everything), and ensuring all her adult kids ate their vegetables. She loved Black Coffee concerts and trying new things, like when she rock-climbed to the secret beach in Hawaii or went on a Safari in Kasane, Botswana, in 2016.
Mama had an extremely fun demeanor, and she always led by example. She enjoyed game shows--especially Wheel of Fortune, all she needed were the letters R.S.T.L.N.E to get the Bonus Round puzzle correct. Victoria also enjoyed shopping with A'Jamal--an accomplished shopaholic. Most importantly to her, she was an extremely devoted mother. She stressed the importance of being ourselves, being and maintaining happiness, being independent, and respecting/helping others. Of course, Mama stressed the importance of education to her kids: She would say: You get an A, "Ohh, That's Good!" If you get a B, then "I need you to tell me your plan on getting an A." And if you get a C, "Go get the belt!"
She offered advice and support to her family and particularly A'Jamal, in many community and advocacy efforts to improve racial healing in the community. One of their last planned projects was working with Movement in Omaha for Race Equity (MORE) to develop a book reading group with the Botswana Historical Society and South Africans regarding the life of Sol T. Plaatje and help bring those worlds together.
She was A'Jamal's best friend and wife who helped temper his advocacy for the betterment of the community.
She is survived by children, Xolani, Potso, Nomalizwe, and Andile (Ka'ala). Ntozi has two grandchildren, Mahina and Ayanda.
She is also survived by her sister Fenella Balosang--who was her only (little) sister. Fenella and Victoria loved each other so much. Victoria was her sister's pillar and provider, and confidante. As their mother, Nodoli, would say, "My everything, I don't know."
Victoria was also survived by niece and nephew Siphiwe & Khuto Balosang, In-laws Ray Lee Jordan, Kamau N'Nandi (Ida), Angela Jackson, Verna Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Dr. Lerlean N. Johnson, Irene Harris (Donald), Jesse Johnson Jr. Charlotte Johnson, Sarah Johnson, Rosie Johnson, Lyndon Johnson, other many loving family members in Botswana/South Africa, and friends.
Instead of Flowers Memorial Gift to a Nonprofit Organization:
Movement in Omaha for Race Equity
608 N Saddle Creek RE # 31542
Omaha NE 68132-2500