Young at heart: he’s Edendale’s Madiba

2011-07-29 00:00

BORN in the same year and month as Nelson Mandela, Pietermaritzburg’s Leonard Elijah Milford Nkosi celebrated his 93rd birthday yesterday.

Nkosi, a former Msunduzi councillor, is still the chairperson of the Edendale Landowners’ Association.

He remains committed to helping to restore the history and heritage of Edendale.

To keep up with his many activities he still drives, although family members do their best to confine him to driving in the Edendale area and not in the city centre.

Nkosi said he had a wonderful birthday with surprise visits from family and friends.

He attributes remaining young at heart to his decision to remarry at the age of 89, after being a widower for a number of years.

His wife Sibongile jokingly says that he just wanted to emulate Mandela by taking a second wife.

“I’m his Graca Machel,” she said.

Nkosi is an integral part of Edendale’s history. His great-grandfather came to Edendale from Swaziland in the early 1800s as a follower of the Reverend James Allison and a member of the early African Christian community, the Amakholwa.

His pet project, the building of a youth hall in the area, is almost completed and he said what keeps him going is his commitment to the upliftment of Edendale.

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