While many of the South African population’s females are expected to live up to 66 years, one granny in Bochabela has by far surpassed the life expectancy of both males and females as she turned 100 on Tuesday 24 October.
Proud of this incredible achievement, Shoeshoe Sephelane, who is a day resident at the Boikhuco Old Age home in Bloemfontein, said throughout the years her one wish was that she would live to see the day she turned one hundred years old.
Sephelane celebrated her birthday with friends, peers, family as well as the Corporate Social Responsibility team from Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) at the old age home. The centenarian was pleased to see the huge cake CCBSA brought for her to enjoy with loved ones and revealed that leading up to the event, she could hardly wait for the day to come.
Programme coordinator at the Bochabela home, Zwelinzima Jacobs, said that the CCBSA team met Sephelane while they took elderly people on a trip to the Coke plant in Hamilton. “When the CCBSA team heard that mme Sephelane would be turning 100 years old, they were really excited and made it clear that they would be spending the day with us. Surely enough, on her birthday, they were here to deliver on their promise to her,” Jacobs said.
Meanwhile, Katleho Molelekoa, who is CCBSA’s Public Affairs and Communication Coordinator, said upon seeing how active Sephelane was at the plant, she knew she had to inform her superiors, who luckily also shared the sentiment that something special ought to be done for the lady by the company. “I was so surprised when they told me her age because of the group of about 15 elders, she was the most active,” Molelekoa said. She added that the team then felt more compelled to do something for her as the old age home was the only one that has been to their plant this year also.
Jacobs described Sephelane as a person who speaks her mind, loves neatness and cleanliness and is friendly and pleasant to be around. “She is very strict. If you do something wrong, she will tell you then and there but she will also never hold it against you. She also loves beautiful things. She believes in looking good and clean regardless of age or circumstances,” he said. The home also held another celebration for her on 31 October 2017.Sephelane was born on 24 October 1917 near the Tempe Military Base in Bloemfontein and was the eighth of nine children in her family. She and her younger sister, who now lives in Lesotho, are the only ones alive from her family unit. She was married in 1942 and her husband passed away in 1953, leaving her with her five children who have also since then passed away. Fortunately, she has three grandchildren and a daughter in law, who has now assumed the role of being her primary caregiver.