Longevity due to a healthy balanced diet

By: Hilmah Hashange

Grandma Martha Afrikaner, one of the country’s oldest living citizens, says she is grateful to the Lord for sparing her to live over the age of 100 years. Afrikaner who on September 27 celebrated her 110th birthday, says a proper balanced diet can prolong one’s life. She is one of a few supercentenarians to ever exist, not only in Namibia but in the entire world. A supercentenarian is a person above the age of 110 years and Granny Afrikaner is one of the recorded alive supercentenarians in the country. Hlma Hashange reports from Mariental.

Eating very little meat, not smoking or consuming alcohol are one of the contributing factors to the wellbeing of Granny Afrikaner. According to her granddaughter, Dina Kitzi, granny Afrikaner grew up eating cultivated farm food, which included cultured milk. “She however always had a sweet tooth and until this day, her favourite snacks remain sweets and biscuits,” Kitzi adds.

The Afrikaner family held a small party on Saturday, 3 October to celebrate the life and times of Granny Afrikaner at Farm Bulford near Gibeon. Speaking on behalf of the family, Kitzi says the family is very grateful to still have their grandmother alive and vividly remembers how their grandmother had raised them to become loving people who should never stray from the word of God. “Our grandmother not only raised her own children, she would always take in other children and was involved in welfare and feed the children of the community. She has no regrets and always talks about love and peace, these are two words that our grandmother loved preaching about to her family,” says Kitzi.

Kitzi adds that her grandmother is grateful for being alive and healthy well over the age of 100. “She is a devout Christian who prays all day, from morning to evening. You will never hear her complain of any pains, she is truly a strong granny,” says Kitzi. She adds that her grandmother’s routine changed as she grew older, and is no longer able to walk and now relies on her grandchildren to bath and cloth her. “She is still very healthy, she can use all her senses, even though she has no teeth left,”Kitzi emphasises.

Although fit as a fiddle, Granny Afrikaner still requires her regular medical checkup. However, Kitzi says it is a little bit difficult as there is no transport readily available to take her to the clinic. She has to hire a private car from Gibeon to come and fetch and drop her at the clinic, this cost her around N$ 400, which she normally takes from her pension grant.

Described as a beautiful singer, Granny Afrikaner was a choir leader and used to teach other wives how to knit and cook for their families during her days as a farm wife. Granny Afrikaner was born on September 27 in 1905 in the Maltahohe district in the Hardap region to a German father and a Damara mother. She later moved to Kalkrand where she married the love of her life, Hendrick Afrikaner in 1938. The Afrikaners later moved to Rehoboth before settling at farm Koherab, in the Gibeon district in 1984.

Granny Afrikaner, who is now a widow, is blessed with 11 children of which only four are still alive. Her eldest child is now 83 years old. She has 48 grandchildren including great-grandchildren.