WATCH: Honour your mother, father so that your days may be long, says 92-year-old granny

18 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
WATCH: Honour your mother, father so that your days may be long, says 92-year-old granny

The Sunday News

Sandisiwe Gumbo, Sunday Life Reporter

MRS Miriam Mlotshwa, a 92-year-old pioneer resident of Mpopoma in Bulawayo has attributed her long life to obeying the biblical concept of honouring the elderly, “so that your days can be added on earth.”

Mrs Mlotshwa (pictured), whose maiden name is Sibanda, clocked 92 years on Friday and shared her life story with Sunday Life. She was born into a family of 12 children and she was the fifth child. Eight of her siblings have since passed on and is the eldest one alive. She was born and raised in uMguza District where she did her Primary level at Entukuzweni Primary School, reaching Standard four, which is equivalent to Grade seven.

“I was a very intelligent student at school. Standard four was nothing to me, it was very easy. They ended up teaching me the books for standard five. Even when I’m sitting today, I can see that I’m a very intelligent person. We moved from uMguza in 1948 when we were evicted to Inswazi. In 1957, it is when we started staying in this home in Mpopoma. We were one of the first people to stay in Mpopoma.”

She vividly remembers being raised by her parents and how much she loved school, church, and football.

“I grew up loving football and I supported Highlanders. Wherever Highlanders played I was there, no matter how far it was. I also loved reading and would have loved to pursue my education further, but with financial constraints faced within my family, I could not pursue my education further. I also grew up in an environment of religion, I loved to attend church and I am still attending church at this age, although I am not able to attend every Sunday,” said Mrs Mlotshwa.

She highlighted how she worked different part-time jobs and later did home-based care where she later earned herself a certificate. 

She attributed her long life to the biblical principle of honouring parents and respecting the elderly, which are values that she has held throughout her life. 

“I attribute my long life to the biblical principle of honouring your mother and father, this is what everyone should follow. I respected the elderly a lot regardless of whether we are related or not.”

She expressed her disappointment with the lack of respect and discipline in today’s young generation.

“Today’s generation is not being brought up well. When we were growing up respect was a must. We got disciplined by whoever and our parents would not defend us. Today when a child is disciplined by a neighbour or any other elderly their parents intervene, even the child will tell you that you have no right to discipline them as you are not their parent. 

“The life we lived is no longer the same as today, but the greatest thing in this life is having respect for elders. Young people don’t even have respect for each other these days. We respected each other to the extent that we would swim together as boys and girls and not care about nudity, which is different from today.”

Mrs Mlotshwa mentioned how much she values education, stating that most of her nine children are degree-holders, with one staying in America and raising her family there. 

“My family was not rich, but I’m grateful they raised us well with manners. My parents were not educated, and I am not educated, but I made sure all my children are well taught, that’s how I value education. I taught all my children respect, and they are all humble people.”

She was blessed with eight girls and one boy, but four of the girls have passed on. 

“I got married to the person I was in love with when I was still attending school. I was young. I got pregnant at a young age and at 16 years old I was married. In 1951, the marriage ended and I had to move back home. I then got married to someone else from a Mlotshwa family, we were together until                                                                                             he passed on in 2003 at the age of 73.”

She expressed gratitude for her long life, mentioning the minor health issues she faces but still can walk and perform minor daily tasks at 92 years old.

“I’m grateful to reach this age, it is nothing to take for granted. At 92, I am still able to walk and do some things like bathing on my own, that is a blessing.”

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