‘The secret is respect’

2015-08-12 06:00
MFALLENG ROSELINE MOKWENA (103), who hails from Lusaka in Qwaqwa.         
Tladi Moloi

MFALLENG ROSELINE MOKWENA (103), who hails from Lusaka in Qwaqwa. Photo: Tladi Moloi

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LUSAKA. – At 103 years old, Mfalleng Roseline Mokwena is still going strong and she says she still feels like a lady.

The outspoken Mokwena is the mother of nine children – seven men and two women. Unfortunately, she is now only left with two, Nteiseng Maleka and Kane Mokwena.

She lives in Lusaka, Qwaqwa, with one of her grandsons, Mosebetsi Mokwena (21).

“I am still strong. I even cook for myself. I don’t like other people to prepare meals for me. They don’t cook delicious food like I do,” Mokwena says.

Apparently, she does not want to go to a clinic or hospital when she is ill.

She says she would rather send someone to buy medication at the chemist.

“I don’t trust the doctors and nurses. They will kill me.

“I only trust God – he has always been there for me.”

Mokwena, who grew up on a farm near Memel in the Eastern Free State, says she came to Qwaqwa soon after her husband, Lemosa, had passed away.

Since then she has been living with her grandsons and granddaughters.

“I have raised the firstborns of my children. I had a rule in my house that all the firstborns should stay with me.

“I am happy that they all listened to that.

“Some of those grandchildren have their own families now.”

When asked what her secret was in reaching the age of 103, she said: “Respect, nothing else. We were taught at home that we should respect our parents and elders.

“It is even written in the Bible that you should respect you elders so that you can live longer.”

Mokwena says it is heartbreaking to witness the increasing number of young people who are dying.

“She says she doubts the current generation will make it to her age.

“They won’t make it this far, never. They are busy with too many things like alcohol and drugs. They don’t even respect old people.”

While she speaks, her friendly face changes when she tells Express Eastern Free State that people in the area have labelled her with names, accusing her of witchcraft.

“They say I made it this far because I am a witch. That is nonsense. Have I ever killed anyone?” she asks.

She says she suffered a lot in life after she got married.

“My mother-in-law did not love me. She would do bad things or give me bad treatment, but I used to tell myself that I was not there because of her, but my husband.

“So I stayed and we had a big, happy family.

“I, however, respected her under those circumstances.”

Mabale Mokoena (52), one of her family members who lives in the same area, keeps a close eye on the granny when her grandson is away.

She confirms that Mfalleng cooks for herself and points out that she says their food are not well cooked


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