Lenah Msesi Ncongwane of Mamelodi west celebrated her 98th birthday with Supatsela service centre club members on Wednesday.
Fellow members of the senior citizens’ club organised the surprise party at St May’s Church known as Roma in Mamelodi west section B2 where they showered the active gogo with gifts.
Martha Dladla, club vice chair, said gogo Ncongwane is the oldest member of the club and they wanted to celebrate her life while she is still going strong and active in the club.
Ncongwane joined the club in 2004 and has been a loyal member since and is still going strong and healthy.
“Gogo has never missed a single day at the club, she is here Monday to Wednesday and she walks from her house to the club every day,” said Dladla.
Gogo Nconwane is in charge of the sewing and crocheting department and teaches everyone.
Dladla said many senior citizens at the club have many ailments but not Gogo Ncongwane.
Gogo Ncongwane said her secret to a long life is eating healthy and believing in God.
She said she is taking care of her body by eating healthy and keeping her body busy by being hands-on and exercising at the club.
Her diet is very simple as she eats vegetables and her favourite is spinach and she does not eat meat or chicken.
“No soft drinks for me, only water,” said the gogo.
She also encouraged the youth to stop taking alcohol and smoking because they are bad for their health.
“I am very grateful to God for giving me the strength to live long,” she said.
Gogo Ncongwane is the mother of six children, two of whom have unfortunately passed on.
She said she has lost count of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She has never had a serious illness except for her high blood pressure which she is maintaining with medication and exercise.
Gogo worked as an assistant nurse throughout her career and never played sports.
Club chair Wonder Mona said Gogo Ncongwane wants things to be perfect and is very strict with her crocheting and sewing students.
“When we exercise, she pushes us,” she said.
“She is a natural-born leader and the celebration of her birthday is to show her that we appreciate her for all the hard work she is doing at the club.
“Gogo Ncongwane is a good example to show that there is life after retirement and she is fighting boredom by keeping herself busy.”
Though she can’t sing very well herself, she encouraged others to sing because she sees potential in every individual at the club.
Club members celebrated her birthday party by singing and the cake was shared with two other members who recently celebrated their birthdays.
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