Emma Lugwa celebrates 99 years

2019-05-28 06:00
Emma Lugwa still does her house chores as usual. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

Emma Lugwa still does her house chores as usual. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A 99-year-old Ottery resident, Emma Lugwa, says that eating healthy is one of the things that has helped her to live a long life.

She does not eat spices or salt and prefers fresh food. In her youth she never smoked, drank alcohol or went partying in the clubs. She says it is this that has played a role in living a life.

She is reportedly the eldest surviving resident in her community and “has seen it all.”

“There were times I survived only by faith, and it was through the grace of God that I pulled through,” Lugwa says.

Lugwa confidently says she refused to let the hardships of the apartheid era break her. She was born on a farm in Graaf Reinet and started working for a white person under the age of 10.

She later moved to Cape Town where she also worked on farms until she got married to a man that was well-off. “I stopped working and helped my husband with his businesses.”

But that was short-lived, a few years later, he passed on and she had to raise her 10 children on her own. They were all minors at the time of his death.

Lugwa did not inherit a thing and was forced to go back to work on farms.

Her birthday was recently celebrated and local authorities including Mayor Dan Plato visited her at home.

Plato gave her a cup, a wheelchair to move around and a whistle to call for help when needed.

However, Lugwa says the wheelchair will have to wait a little longer as she is still feeling strong and loves being active.

She still enjoys cooking and sewing. She does not need help to put the thread through the needle and is not on any medication. She still has sharp eyesight and can still hear clearly. “Yes, I do get pain now and again but it is only because I am old. It does not even last long, and I thank God for that,” Lugwa says.

She puts emphasis on living by faith and that all shall be well regardless of the circumstances. Investing money also helped her a lot.

“I saved from the little I was earning and bought this house,” Lugwa says.

She says the problem with the youth of today is lack of prioritising and buying expensive things that do not add value to their lives.

Lugwa also says respecting elders and everyone around you increases blessings from God. “I know that for a fact, I too lived by that belief and look where it brought me. I always put my parents first and never disrespected them,” says Lugwa.

She also condemns smoking and substance abuse, saying it slowly destroys one’s body.

Lugwa is a mother of 10 children, five of which she has outlived. She has 32 grandchildren, 33 great grandchildren and four great great-grandchildren.

Her youngest daughter, Maureen Lugwa (50) lives with her and she says her mother is still strong and still takes care of herself. They live together and the rest of the family comes to visit.

A neighbour, Samuel Carolus describes Lugwa as a blessing in the community, saying it is rare to find a person her age still active and kind-hearted.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.