Great-granny shares secret of reaching 101

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Matokelo Paulina Taole

Taking care of your soul and being content with yourself is the secret of Bloemfontein resident Matokelo Paulina Taole, who recently celebrated her 101st birthday.
Taole celebrated this milestone on 8 March 2021 with family and close friends at her new home in Hillside, which was gifted to her by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2019.

Born in 1920 in Mafeteng, Lesotho, Taole moved to the City of Roses to marry her late husband and has been a resident ever since. She had five children, of whom two are left, eleven grandchildren and “many great-grandchildren”.

Her granddaughter, Maseabata Taole, described her as a funny person who is full of stories. “She always tells us of the struggles and how at one point she was arrested during the apartheid era and had to leave her children behind to fend for herself. She is a strong woman who believes and who prays. She also likes to sing a lot,” said Taole.

When asked about her secret for reaching this age, the response was “respect and prayer”. “She also doesn’t drink and smoke. She has never been to hospital or had to take pills for whatever reason,” said her granddaughter.

The family described her as their blessing and believes that God is still keeping her for them in order to achieve a lot in life. “Also for her to reap the fruits of her hard labour by seeing us succeed so that she can enjoy her old age. It has not been easy taking care of her, especially as my mother, Mpolokeng Taole, struggles a lot and had to quit her job of selling in the street just to look after our grandmother. But taking her to an old-age home has never been an option. We enjoy her company of being at home and just being a wonderful old person,” concluded Taole.

Pierce van Heerden
pierce@mahareng.co.za