Johanna Mazibuko of South Africa is believed to be the oldest person in the world.
The persevering woman was born in 1894 and raised on a maize farm in Ottosdal, a town in South Africa. She was the eldest of 12 children.
“We lived so well on the farms. There were no problems,” she said.
Mazibuko’s childhood was simple yet beneficial to her lasting health. She remembers growing up on a combination of fresh milk and wild spinach, and occasionally locusts as a result of an infestation on her farm.
As she got older, Mazibuko enjoyed a flourishing marriage and family life. She earned her living for years as a domestic worker for farm owners. She ironed and cleaned.
“I was married to an older man. His first wife had died,” she said. “He was an independent man. He had a horse carriage and cows. I would milk the cows and make butter to sell.”
“That man treated me very well and made me forget about my life before him. I did not want for anything.”
Mazibuko had seven kids in her marriage, two of whom are alive. She is a proud elder of 50 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Having lived through apartheid, the South African native said she will never forget voting in the first democratic elections in 1994.
“Mandela was my person. He allowed us to control ourselves. He got us houses and made the government give us pensions,”
The 128-year-old is currently living in Jouberton, Klerksdorp. She struggles with her hearing but uses a walker to get around the house. To assist her, Mazibuko employed a caregiver named Thandiwe Wesinyana, whom she has lived with since 2001.
Prophet OJ Madikong, the initiator of the Adopt an Elderly campaign in Mahikeng, is calling for the elderly woman to be featured by the Guinness Book of Records.
“I believe maMazibuko could have long been put in the Guinness Book of Records,” Madikong.
“The whole world would know, but we know that it is never [too] late. We are happy that there is someone with 128 years, whether they try to hide her or what, but we know there is,” he said.