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Centenarian never drank alcohol, smoked cigarettes nor gave in to peer pressure

Lettie Buthelezi celebrates her 100th birthday at her home in Ga-Rankuwa. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Lettie Buthelezi celebrates her 100th birthday at her home in Ga-Rankuwa. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 30, 2022

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Pretoria - For Lettie Buthelezi from Ga-Rankuwa Zone 2, not giving in to peer pressure in life has seen her reach the milestone of 100 years this past Saturday.

Buthelezi, who turned a century old on Saturday, said to get to the ripe old age she never smoked cigarettes nor drank alcohol in her life.

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“When I went out with friends they would drink alcohol but I would drink cold drinks.

“That saved me.

“I never smoked or drank alcohol in my life. How was I going to take care of my kids if I was drunk?

Lettie Buthelezi celebrates her 100th birthday at her home in Ga-Rankuwa. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

“I raised my children with my mother who is no longer in this world. They all grew up but sadly they are no more, I am left with God.”

Buthelezi said overall she thanked God for keeping her alive and she did want to still be around for many more years.

Buthelezi still kneads flour for her own bread, washes dishes, and keeps her own house clean.

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When she was younger she worked at a Chinese laundry company in Ga-Rankuwa, and she was there for almost 30 years until retiring at the age of 60.

“But, I did not look forward to nor did I enjoy retirement.

It was not a joyous moment as the company did not have retirement packages,” she said.

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Buthelezi was the mother of seven children – five boys and two girls – and, she said they had all died over the years which left her heartbroken.

“But my great grandson, Ofentse, and his guardian live with me, so I am grateful for that.”

Gwen Poo was there to celebrate the momentous event, and said she has been friends with Buthelezi for more than 30 years, after meeting her through Buthelezi’s children.

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She described the old lady as someone who loved God and included Him in everything she did.

“Koko Monare is blessed. she does not use a cane to walk, and she bathes herself. Most importantly, she loves and takes care of herself.

“When she dresses she makes sure that she matches her outfits perfectly.

“She still even wears heels and does not wear flats. Koko is very respectful and merciful.”

Poo said she viewed Buthelezi as her mother.

And, said Buthelezi’s granddaughter, Dolcie Mmatau, no one in the family had ever reached the centenary age.

"When my mother died she was not even 60 years old, so today I am so grateful and thank God that we have someone turning 100 years old.

"She is my mother, when we have funerals she accompanies me, although she now is no longer as strong as before.“

Mmatau thanked God for keeping Buthelezi alive, and also asked God to keep her alive for many more years to come.

Pretoria News

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