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Centenarian's secret for a long, healthy life

By unknown | Jun 02, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sipho Masombuka

Sipho Masombuka

Living beyond a century seems to run in the Ramahume family.

The head of the house, Johannes, was 120 when he died in 1988. His wife, Mokgabudi, turned 103 on May 29.

The eldest of the couple's three children, Jennifer, celebrated her 70th birthday yesterday. Her brothers, James and Lacy, are 48 and 58, respectively.

Speaking to Sowetan at her home in Atteridgeville, Tshwane, the centenarian cited respect, indigenous diet and fear of God as the secrets of longevity.

At her ripe age Ramahume still does daunting chores such as cooking and cleaning the house and yard with ease.

"Sleeping too much makes your body tired and old," Ramahume said. "I stretch my muscles and get my heart racing as much as I can.

"I fuel my system with oats and milk for breakfast, sour porridge (ting) with spinach or beef stew for dinner."

Despite undergoing treatment for hypertension, Ramahume's health is relatively good.

The bubbly and energetic granny laughed deeply when this reporter asked her what the young generation ought to do to attain to become so old.

"The rooted love for money has eroded respect and one can never live long without respect for everything and everyone," she said. "This generation has reached the point of no return."

An amazing thing about Ramahume's life, which she is proud of, is that she has gone to church for 50 years without missing a single Sunday.

Ramahume has 23 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, some of whom are parents of more than eight children.

A die-hard fan of local soap operas Muvhangu, Generations and Isidingo, she watches television until 11pm.

For words of wisdom the firm believer in education said: "There is nothing one could do about the past and one cannot be sure about the future, what matters is the present from God."


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