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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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'I'm grateful to be born on the same day as Mandela'

By unknown | Jul 17, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Frank Maponya

Like former state president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela an elderly Limpopo man will be celebrating his 90th birthday tomorrow.

Frank Mashianoke was born on July 18 1918, the same day as Mandela.

Mashianoke retired from his job as agricultural officer in 1984.

A closer look yesterday during a visit to his home in Lenyenye Township, outside Tzaneen, shows there is a striking resemblance between him and Madiba, though Mashianoke is a bit dark-skinned.

Mashianoke's wife Meriam was born in the same year as Mandela's former wife, Winnie MadikizelaTMandela in 1934.

The Limpopo couple's firstborn, Veronica, was born the same year that Madiba and Madikizela-Mandela had their second born, Zinzi, in 1961.

Mashianoke and his wife were blessed with six children - four daughters and two sons.

"I must say I'm grateful to be one of those born on the same day as Mandela. I wish I could live for as long as he has," Mashianoke said jokingly.

He said he suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure but believed that these illnesses were associated with old age and would have no bearing on his struggle to continue living in this world.


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