Granny celebrates 108th birthday

2018-05-30 06:00
Mamotlokwa Makhele (middle, front), who celebrates her 108th birthday today (30/05), being presented a cake by church members during a special event held on 13 May in Bochabela. In the middle, behind her, is her daughter, Kekeletso Setlhaku (in the red dress), and second from the left in the middle row is Puleng Letsie, leader of the Uniting Reformed Church’s Christian Women’s Ministry. Photo: Supplied

Mamotlokwa Makhele (middle, front), who celebrates her 108th birthday today (30/05), being presented a cake by church members during a special event held on 13 May in Bochabela. In the middle, behind her, is her daughter, Kekeletso Setlhaku (in the red dress), and second from the left in the middle row is Puleng Letsie, leader of the Uniting Reformed Church’s Christian Women’s Ministry. Photo: Supplied

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A Bloemfontein granny, Mamotlokwa Martha Makhele, will today (30/05) mark another milestone in her life by celebrating her 108th birthday.

According to her ID, she was born on 30 May 1910.

Her birthplace was a farm in the district of Kroonstad, where she was employed as a domestic worker, and her late husband Samuel Makhele as a labourer.

Makhele relocated to settle in Bloemfontein, where she continued to work as a domestic worker.

She and her husband were blessed with one child, a daughter, Kekeletso Setlhaku (66), who stays with her at their residence in Bochabela.

Makhele has two grandsons, Olehile (48) and Tebogo (46), and four great-grandchildren.

During today’s celebration she will blow out candles, which will be the culmination of the celebratory events started by the Uniting Reformed Church’s Christian Women’s Ministry.

Members of the church celebrated Makhele’s life on Mother’s Day and presented her with a cake.

“Having granny Makhele as the most senior member in age in our church is a blessing, and it is necessary to celebrate her life to inspire everyone. It is fitting to celebrate her while alive, not later,” said Puleng Letsie, leader of the women’s ministry.

Makhele has lived to see the start and the end of both the First World War (stretching from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918) and the Second World War (from 1 September 1939 to 2 September 1945).

Although confined to a wheelchair, she has thanked God for her long life as she celebrates the rare milestone of turning 108.

“Respect for the elderly and self-respect, as well as honesty, has been an integral part of my blessing,” said Makhele.

Setlhaku described her mother as an inspiration.

“She upholds good morals and reminds us about humanity. She encourages us to do good to others,” said Setlhaku.

“She does not compromise when it comes to hygiene, she brushes her teeth thrice a day and she is an early bird, no matter what.”

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