Respect others, says centenarian

2017-10-18 06:01
Granny Jeminah Molantoa Lemani (centre) celebrated her 104th birthday with her third and fourth generation of grandchildren at a function held at the family’s residence in Phelindaba, Bloemfontein. Photos: Teboho Setena

Granny Jeminah Molantoa Lemani (centre) celebrated her 104th birthday with her third and fourth generation of grandchildren at a function held at the family’s residence in Phelindaba, Bloemfontein. Photos: Teboho Setena

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The inspirational great- granny Jeminah Molantoa Lemani celebrated her 104th birthday on 7 October with family and friends.

The belated birthday party was held at the family’s residence in Phelindaba, Bloemfontein.

Great-granny Lemani’s legal document showed that she was born on 19 September 1914.

That is one and a half months after the outbreak of World War I on 28 July 1914.

Lemani was born in Lesotho in a place called Qalabane in the Mafeteng District.

She is known as Mmataoleng among family members.

Lemani had 14 children with her husband Daniel Lemani, who died in 1998. She also has 38 grandchildren and 45 great-grandchildren.

She expressed her joy at the celebrations by ululating with her two sons Dickson (75) and Morgan (70) by her side.

Five of her 14 children have lived to celebrate her 104th birthday.

Lemani migrated to South Africa as a young woman to work on farm as a domestic worker, where she learnt to speak Afrikaans.

She also learnt to speak English at school in her home country, Lesotho.

Lemani later worked in Bloemfontein suburbs.

The centenarian regards living beyond 100 years as a blessing from God.

She attributes it to a healthy lifestyle, self-discipline and a good upbringing by her parents.

Lemani spoke proudly about the value of honouring one’s parents and respecting others.

“The secret in my life is the principle to value and honour parents, adults and fellow ones, irrespective of their age.

“The importance of valuing one’s parents is stated in the Bible.

“It is one of the Ten Commandments,” said Lemani, beaming with joy whilst also speaking about the value of self-discipline.

She pointed out that the moral degeneration experienced in this day and age is due to the lack of honour for parents and ill-disciplined behaviour, a universal phenomenon negatively affecting many societies.

”I’m very grateful to God for all the blessings that have come to me through valuing and honouring my parents and respect in general,” said Lemani.

Neighbour Mbulelo Bhoqo said Granny Lemani’s life resembles the parable of the mustard seed and the yeast in the book of Matthew (Matthew 13:31-32).

“Granny Lemani is the mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds who has grown into the largest of garden plants and became a tree, so that the birds, you, her children, can come and perch in its branches.”

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