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KZN woman’s secret to reaching 100 years: Afternoon naps and lots of fresh cream for dessert

Sarasvathi Govender turned 100 on July 26. Picture: Supplied

Sarasvathi Govender turned 100 on July 26. Picture: Supplied

Published Aug 2, 2022


Durban - A KwaZulu Natal great grandmother who recently celebrated her 100th birthday said part of her secret to longevity was afternoon naps, gardening and indulging in dessert with lots of fresh cream.

Sarasvathi Govender, who hails from Umzinto on the KZN South Coast, was born on July 26, 1922.

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She is the grandmother of journalist Devi Sankaree Govender.

Kameni Chetty said her grandmother was born and raised in May Street, Durban and then moved to Umzinto after she got married.

Govender now lives in a frail care centre in Scottburgh for the past eight years.

She married Thangaveloo Govender, and the couple has four children - three sons and one daughter.

She has 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Sarasvathi Govender and her husband Thangaveloo and their four children. Picture: Supplied

Her husband died in 2009 at the age of 96.

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Govender was a stay-at-home mother and spent her time volunteering at the local temple.

Chetty said her grandmother does not have diabetes or high blood pressure.

“She ate fresh produce, loved her afternoon sleeps, enjoyed sewing and reading, and her famous line is “I do everything one thing at a time.”

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She said while her grandmother’s routine today is quite sedentary today, up until her 90s she enjoyed cooking, reading in the morning and sewing.

“She loved gardening and taking walks. She enjoyed taking a nap before lunch. After her lunch, she would take another nap.

“And around 4pm, she would have her afternoon tea and watch shows like Oprah and Three Talk.”

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Chetty said her grandmother celebrated her milestone birthday with her family.

Her favourite food to date is fresh chicken curry, giblets and desserts with lots of fresh cream.

“There was no limit to fresh cream.”