A century of life is certainly a significant milestone! This is exactly what Victoria Road resident, makhulu Khungiwe Sophia Cetu, recently celebrated in style.
“We had a small lunchtime gathering on 4 November and we only invited few close family members,” said her last-born child Zodwa Cetu. “We are very happy. On [Saturday] we will be having a public celebration at the city hall and everyone is welcome. We’ve invited a number of people she worked with.”
Cetu was born in Port Elizabeth on 4 November 1913, and she is still as sharp as ever, remembering details about most of her long life. “I studied my lower grades at St Cyprian’s Primary School in Korsten, Port Elizabeth and my higher grade at Perterson Multiracial Secondary School,” she reminisces.
“I applied to do nursing in the Sir Henry Elliot Hospital in Mtata, now known as the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital. I then left for my training at St Matthew’s Hospital in Keiskammahoek and later at Settlers Hospital.” “I also went to Kimberly for a year and to Cape Town to do midwifery at St Monica’s Hospital. Then I came back and was involved in child welfare. I became a district midwife under Settlers Hospital.”
Perhaps it’s her lifetime in healthcare, but makhulu Khungiwe’s health is strong and she walks unaided.
According to her, the secret to her longevity was being born into a powerful family, to the late Preacher Nzima James Kate and his wife Phoebe.
“I believe that I was protected by the fact that I come from a very strict family with a Christian background. I was so very well protected, that by the time I had to look after myself it wasn’t a problem at all,” she says. “I am very happy to reach hundred years. Not everybody does so, therefore I am very excited!”
Nikiwe Cetu, her first of seven daughters, is delighted for her mother. “She has been with us and protected us since forever. She raised us in the same way that she was raised. It feels very great to see her growing everyday. Sometimes age does get the better of her, but then she recovers and realises that it’s just age.”