PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS - One of South Africa's oldest citizens and as far known the oldest Southern Cape resident, Elisabeth Moodie from Kranshoek on the outskirts of Plettenberg Bay, celebrated her 109th birthday this week.
Over the past century, Ouma, as she is fondly known, has racked up some staggering numbers over and above her age. She has 14 children, 47 grandchildren, 98 great grandchildren and 28 great great grandchildren.
These are however not the most astounding facts of her life. She never goes to the doctor, does not take any chronic medication and does not even wear spectacles. "I only take half-a-Disprin every now and then and sometimes have to take a water pill," Ouma said proudly.
And her secret to longevity is not drinking, not smoking and a strong belief in God. "Some of the lessons I've learned over the years are to keep the faith alive in your home, to always love, to be neat and tidy, and to smile."
Living to a ripe old age also seems to run in the family as Ouma's mother lived to be over 80 years old and her grandmother over 100.
While she never worked, having a house full of children kept her on her toes. She also enjoyed gardening when she had a moment in between raising her little ones. "I had a humble life and lived by my faith," she explained.
Now in her golden years, she enjoys watching soapies on television and keeps an eye on some of her great grandchildren. "I make sure they don't get up to mischief," she quipped.
While she does not suffer on the health front, age has taken its toll on her strength and therefore she is now wheelchair bound. "It has been difficult to accept that my body can't do what it used to. It is also difficult to accept the fact that I need to slow down."
Moodie was born in Botswana but spent a large part of her life in Upington in the Northern Cape, before moving to Kranshoek with her late husband in 1940. Today, she still lives in this small coastal hamlet with her family.
On Tuesday 10 September, friends and family celebrated this major occasion with a party at her home. She said she thoroughly enjoyed the celebration, especially having been surrounded by loved ones.
The party was organised by Sylvia Christian, a member of the international charity St Vincent de Paul which helps the poor, needy and disadvantaged, and several other locals.
"I have been assisting and visiting Ouma for the past six years. She is a very upright, gentle soul and is surrounded by the love of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren," Christian said.
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