Johanna Mazibuko, the South African believed to be the “world’s oldest woman”, celebrated her 128th birthday last week. Photos that were shared on social media showed the centenarian celebrating the huge milestone with loved ones.
According to Metro, identity papers in Mazibuko’s possession show that she was born in 1894. And if that is indeed accurate, then that means she has lived through historic eras in her native South Africa including British colonialism and apartheid. She has also lived through the two world wars.
Mazibuko told reporters that she was raised on a maize farm in the South African town of Ottosdal. She said she had 11 siblings, and she was the eldest. “We lived so well on the farms. There were no problems,” she said.
She also recalled a time their family found a tasty solution to a locust plague on their farm. “There were ones we could catch and eat,” she said. “It was like you are eating meat. We would just fry them and eat them like that, just on their own.”
Mazibuko said her go-to meal during childhood was fresh milk and wild spinach. And though she said she’s accustomed to “modern food”, she said she occasionally misses how simple her early years were, Metro reported.
Mazibuko also shared memories of her marriage to her husband. “I was married to an older man. His first wife had died. He was an independent man. He had a horse carriage and cows. I would milk the cows and make butter to sell,” she recalled. “That man treated me very well and made me forget about my life before him. I did not want for anything.”
She shared seven children with her then-husband, and two of them are still alive. She also has 50 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The centenarian currently has hearing issues, but she’s fit enough to move around her residence by herself and watch people from her window.
People in Mazibuko’s community have tried to get Guinness Books of Records to officially recognize her as the world’s oldest woman. And among the people leading that effort is the village’s prophet, OJ Madikong.
“I believe Mazibuko could have long since been put in Guinness book of Records. The whole world would know, but we know that it is never late,” Madikong told News24 in a previous interview.
“As long as we as people in Africa know that there is such a person, we are happy that there is someone with 128 years, whether they try to hide her or what but we know there is.”
Mazibuko said she can’t tell how she was able to reach such an age. Nevertheless, she wants her loved ones to give her a grand burial when she meets her maker.
“When I die, they must slaughter a cow for me. They must bury me well, so that I never bother them,” she said.