Still going strong at 100

2015-07-22 06:01
MANTSHO LEMANI of Phelindaba in Bloemfontein will be tur-ning 101 on 19 September. 
Sidwell Guduka

MANTSHO LEMANI of Phelindaba in Bloemfontein will be tur-ning 101 on 19 September. Photo: Sidwell Guduka

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DESPITE her ripe old age of 100, Mantsho Lemani is still going strong.

She will be turning 101 years old in less than two months and is looking forward to her birthday.

Gogo Mantsho says she has reached her ripe old age because she grew up respecting her elders and eating healthy food, like vegetables and fruits.

“I thank God because He has been protecting me since my childhood.

“It is through his love and wisdom that I’m still alive today,” she told Express.

Born at Qalabane in the Mafeteng District in Lesotho on 19 September 1914, Lemani moved to South Africa in 1933.

Gogo Mantsho got married to her late husband, Daniel, who died in 1980 at the age of 98. Their marriage produced 14 children: nine of them have passed on and only five are still alive.

She has 36 grandchildren and many greatgrandchildren and greatgreat grandchildren.

The energetic grandmother is able to walk without using a walking-stick, but her eyesight has deteriorated.

“I have never used a walking stick in my life.

“Despite my age, I’m still able to do some house chores. I’m still able to cook and wash the dishes,” she said.

“Honestly, I do almost everything on my own. I’m able to wash myself, to dress myself, to do the laundry as well as the ironing.

“I also make my own bed in the morning,” she added.

The grandmother, who still goes to the Holy Number 1 Apostolic Church, said the youth should love God and respect life.

“If the youth want to reach my age, they must put God first in everything they do. God is the way, the truth and life.

“They must live a Christian life on earth. You can’t go wrong doing right,” she advised.

When asked about the games she had played when growing up and what she did for a living, she smiled broadly.

“I was not really much active in sport, but I used to play traditional games such as kgati and diketo.

“As for what I did to put bread on the table, I worked as a domestic worker until I retired.

“With the money I made, I was able to raise my children,” said Lemani.

Her son Dickson (74) said they were truly blessed to still have Gogo Mantsho with them.

“I thank God for protecting her until today. She has led a good, Godly life and she neither drank nor smoked. She hardly fell ill,” said Dickson.

“My mom lives with us at my home. She still enjoys life at her age and likes a good joke. I collect her pension grant every month.

“She may be old and uneducated, but you won’t trick her when it comes to money. She knows exactly how much money she gets and she is able to count money,” he joked.

Dickson’s wife, Elizabeth (70), said she became part of Lemani’s family when she got married to Dickson at the age of 17.

“I’m a sister-in-law in this family. Gogo has been good to me from day one.

“We were sort of friends and never argued about anything.

“If she was unhappy about something she would sit me down and discuss it with me in a polite manner. I thank God for her,” said Elizabeth.) If you know of any community members who are older than 100 years or turning 100 this year, send an email to

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