Nowadays we often find that society neglects the elderly. They are taken to old age homes and if they are lucky, some might be paid a visit on special holidays. More often than not society forgets about them. Fortunately that’s not the case of the Mangaung Metro Municipality.
The Office on the Status of Older Persons in the Premier’s Office, along with the Department of Social Services, celebrates elder persons who have reached a century or more by visiting them at their homes and adorning them with gifts. This week eight centenarians in the Mangaung area were visited to celebrate them reaching the milestone of living for more than 100 years.
Sesenyana Moeng from Rocklands in Bloemfontein celebrated turning 101 years old. She attended school at Mabanane and Waaihoek in Bloemfontein. Moeng has 10 children, 16 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and 8 great-great-grandchildren. Her daughter, Lehule Moeng, says she loves reading the newspaper and enjoys the television soap opera 7de Laan. She says her secret to living this long, is that she has never touched a drop of alcohol or smoked in her life.
Seven other centenarians’ birthdays were celebrated, including 105-year-old Moreng Sebe from Freedom Square in Bloemfontein. In Zone 1 Extension, Thaba Nchu, 116-year-old Mapheli Sempe, possibly the oldest person in Mangaung, was also celebrated, along with 102-year-old Mamakhoa Khumalo from Selosesha and 106-year-old Joalane Matikoane from Zone 2.
Botshabelo also has a few centenarians, the 102-year-old Anna Molantoa from Section B, 108-year-old Rangabai Seekoei from Section D and 106-year-old Masello Mohlomi from Section A.
Acting Deputy Manager of the Office on the Status of Older Persons, Refilwe Masamane, says they often receive letters from the families of the elderly, centenarians, to inform them that they have reached this milestone. His office then visits the families to look at the living conditions of these elderly persons and from there they decide on how to celebrate them. The centenarians receive a birthday cake, blankets and many other gifts suited to their needs. “Reaching 100 years and beyond marks a historic achievement which should be celebrated and acknowledged for defying all odds and achieving the age of 100 years and more,” says Masamane.
Masamane says that the celebrations show that they treasure the elderly and will continue to celebrate and acknowledge their contribution in building a caring society for all. – Seithati Semenokane