Gogo Thilivhali Munyai Madzonga (centre) recently celebrated her 100th birthday at Tshandama-Maladani village. Holding her birthday cake are her granddaughters, Pfarelo (right) and Alukondi Negondeni.
“Your lifestyle and what you eat will definitely contribute to your long life,” said Gogo Thilivhali Munyai Madzonga of Tshandama-Maladani village who recently celebrated her 100th birthday.
She was the centre of attention as family members, friends and local community members sang and danced while she cut her birthday cake. “I’m still going to live another 100 years,” she said jokingly to the guests.
Thilivhali’s granddaughter, Pfarelo Negondeni said the family felt that it was important to celebrate with her grandmother. “It is unusual these days for a person to reach 100 years. It is worth celebrating because she is a special gift in our family.”
Pfarelo says her grandmother was a good storyteller who always talked about things she had experienced many years ago. “She would tell us about how they lived in wooden huts covered with wet soil, how they looked after the goats and how they travelled long distances because there were no vehicles then. She is a think tank who would tell us about the advantages of initiation schools and the preservation of one’s culture.”
Even though she is 100 years old, she walks on her own, ploughs the fields and cleans the yard. “We always tell her to relax, but she won’t give in. She says the more she works, the more active she becomes,” said Pfarelo.
Thilivhali said she was born in Mukovhawabale village, near Shakadza. She said her husband and two children had passed on, but she thanked God for giving her a long life. “I walk to the local church every Sunday to praise the Lord. Although my eyesight sometimes fails me, I can do everything on my own because I believe in being independent. All the people who were born during my time have passed on and I thank God for sparing my life.”
Although she has lived and seen it all, Thilivhali is changing with the times. She owns a mobile phone and enjoys watching television, especially the Muvhango soapie.
In terms of the food, Thilivhali says she enjoys wild fruit and vegetables. “If I want some changes, I either go for mopane worms, termites, locusts or game. I prefer drinking water to cold drinks. Sugar is my number one enemy, because I know it has many disadvantages to our bodies. Most importantly, I have never tasted alcohol in my life. I have seen many precious lives being lost because of alcohol.”
And her advice to the young ones is: “Listen to the advice from your elders, eat healthy and stay fit. Stay away from alcohol, drugs, sugar and fatty food.”
Date:12 January 2018 - By: Wilson Dzebu