What’s the secret to old age? The answer will inevitably lie in a combination of genetics and healthy lifestyle decisions. The world’s oldest people continue to provide fascinating clues. Now Johanna Mazibuko, who lives in South Africa’s North West province, has shared her path to longevity.
Why is her story significant? Johanna Mazibuko, who lives in South Africa’s North West province, reportedly celebrated her 128th birthday on Wednesday, May 11.
Born on a maize farm, she was the eldest of 12 siblings, three of whom are still alive today.
Speaking to News24, the 128-year-old spoke about her humble beginnings: “We lived so well on the farms. There were no problems.”
Though she cannot remember her childhood well, she recalls the time there was a locust infestation on the farms.
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Johanna is a little hard of hearing these days but can still see.
She can even still move around the house albeit only with the help of a frame.
She said: “My body is stiff. When I walk, I walk like a child.
“When people are walking up and down the streets, I just watch through my window and wish I could be like them.”
Johanna has a carer named Thandiwe Wesinyana, who has lived with her since 2001.
Thandiwe said of their bond: “I can’t sleep when I am not next to her. When I come back, she will also say she couldn’t sleep.
“She says she just sits by the window looking at the gate and wondering when I will be back.”
Matlosana mayor James Tsolela earlier revealed that the municipality was gifting her a sofa for her special day.
He said: “We have been checking and doing research to see who is the oldest. We can’t find anyone her age.
“We do have her ID saying that. We have to try and put her in the book of Guinness Book of Records, so she can be properly honoured.”
Johanna, who says she is unsure why she has reached such an advanced age, said: “When I die, they must slaughter a cow for me.
“They must bury me well, so that I never bother them.”