On July 18, the whole country pays homage to former president Nelson Mandela on his birthday, but on the same day, in a little corner of Khayelitsha, lives a senior citizen who was also born more than a hundred years ago.
Nohayilodi Manisi, who turned 103 years old on Tuesday, shares everything with the late Mr Mandela, including a clan name.
She is a Dlomo just like Madiba. The Cofimvaba-born grandmother had a fun-filled day as she celebrated her birthday with members of the community including the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) who organised the big bash for her.
Ma Dlomo is still fit to walk without any sign that she is over a centenary. She said she feels strong and healthy. She said respect goes a long way, if one wants to live a long life “I do not eat everything in front of me. Samp is my favourite. The problem with today’s generation, they eat everything. They lack respect and are dying quickly. Respect is tantamount to anything in life.”
She advised young people to honour and respect their seniors if they want to live longer.
On sharing a birthday with the former statesman Ma Dlomo said she feels honoured. She said her birthday is a bit more special than other birthdays. “Look now there are cameras that are affecting my eyes. But I have been on this earth for too long. I do not treat any sickness. I have no high blood pressure or any other sickness. God must take me now” she said.
She said she had eight children, two girls and six boys. Four are still alive. “They are also getting pension grants like me now,” she said laughing.
Her granddaughter, Vuyiswa Mlungu, said Ma Dlomo still has all her faculties and is independent. “She is a clean woman who still does everything for herself. You cannot assist her, she embarrasses us with her sarcasm. As she grows older, she is too sarcastic. But she loves people, her children and us grand- and great-grandchildren. She loves to share everything she has. I envy her and her great years,” she said.
Her great-great-grandchild, Mabli Gugu, attributed her Ma Dlomo’s longevity to respect. She said at her age, she still respects people. “She tells us stories of how they were brought up, not eating eggs, peanuts and many other things, especially sweet things. Since I have known her, she has not changed. She still wakes up early and cleans herself. All I can say, she is a wonderful woman that we admire and appreciate”
The members of Sanco said they were blessed to have a senior like her in their midst.
Myolisi Magibisela, Sanco convernor of Khayelitsha zone, said they dedicated to honour her after hearing how old she is and that she shares a date with the great statesman.