Mr Frans Mpandali Nthangeni.
The 100th birthday celebration for Mr Frans Mpandali Nthangeni that was scheduled for 25 April this year had to be postponed indefinitely because of Covid-19, which has seen the country undergoing a prolonged period of lockdown.
However, the 100-year-old Nthangeni, who is popularly known as ‘Vho-Mazwiovhela’, is excited about his journey in the 100th year of his life here on earth.
A resident at Sigonde village in Niani, Vho-Mazwiovhela said: “I had wished to make 100, and I am thankful to God to have brought me this far, because I know that if it had not been for his love, protection and guidance, then I would not have made it,” he said. “In my life, I had enjoyed the privilege of God’s blessings and I thank God for that.”
Vho-Mazwiovhela was born on 13 April 1920 at Matanda Tshamulungwi. He later moved to Thononda village in the Nzhelele area and stayed there for a while. In 1975, he moved to Sigonde village. “When I reached Sigonde village, I realised that it was the very place that was shown to me in a dream in 1942,” he said. “It was a great and an exciting moment of deja vu – it felt as if I was reliving all those moments. I love this land and her people.”
Vho-Mazwiovhela had started working at the age of 16 years as a general worker in one of the shops in Louis Trichardt in 1936; he remembers that he used to earn 50c a week back then. He also worked at a bakery in Louis Trichardt. “I also worked at different shops in this very town,” he said. “I was a hard worker and many people loved me because of that,” he said.
In 1948, he decided to go to Johannesburg to look for greener pastures. He worked as a general worker for the municipality in Denver in Germiston. He was retrenched and found another job at a bakery in Johannesburg.
He values his family, relatives, and the community. His home today is a place filled with love and respect, where relatives, friends and the community members love to visit because of the hospitality and love they receive.
His take on Covid-19 is that, back in the years, other diseases had come around but not like the Covid-19. “I remember of a certain outbreak in 1962 when people got vaccinated while I was working in Johannesburg,” he said. “It is important that we comply with laws and regulations of the government regarding the current coronavirus pandemic, or else we will live to regret it.”
Date:07 May 2020 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.