SENIOR citizens play a pivotal role in society and they are very generous, says Gaolatlhwe Plaatjie during his mother’s birthday. Elizabeth Plaatjie celebrated her 100 years at Seweding village, Mahikeng on Saturday.
Gaolatlhwe said his mother had five children, however only two were left. He said Elizabeth remained his source of strength over the years.
“I have learnt a lot from my mother. She is not a mother to us only, but to the whole village. She continued to be so generous and that made her to stand out amongst the rest.
“She believed in discipline, dedication and determination. My mother made sure that we never go to bed hungry despite any circumstances. Older people have a wealth of skills and experiences and contributed immensely to the communities,” Gaolatlhwe said.
He also said elderly persons contributions are something often forgotten.
“We need to take care of them because they possess a great deal of old world knowledge. Younger generation can learn from their level of expertise unknown to them. They possess the knowledge from real-life experiences, situations and customs that can help lay the path in an effort to maintain honorable values within our current culture,” Gaolatlhwe said.
Elizabeth shared her thoughts on what kept her healthy. She emphasised that respect comes first. Elizabeth is not even wears spectacle unlike her two children.
“I am so grateful to reach these years. If you want to live longer, you need to respect other people and stop living dangerously. We need to respect our parents so that our days can be prolonged in this world. Only Almighty God decides, so I also want to thank him.
“The world is different nowadays and children do not respect their parents anymore. They also engage in socio-economic illness. Life was perfect during our time, however things changed tremendously. I am left with only two children because others passed away. However, I am happy to celebrate 100 years,” she said.
Elizabeth Plaatjie’s granddaughter, Boitshoko Plaatjie said she learnt a lot from her grandmother. She said it was a privilege to be raised by Elizabeth.
“My granny always encouraged us not to give up. She is also a firm believer. We went through trials and tribulations of life, but she was always there to give a motherly love. Granny always shares fairytale and how life was then during apartheid. I will encourage those who have grandparents to treat them well,” Boitshoko said.
One of her daughters-in laws, Mamolepi Plaatjie said: “Without our elderly persons, we would not exist. They are there to remind us of old traditions that we may have forgotten. They are proof of the generation that came before us. They can also teach many things because wisdom comes in old age. They are also a living proof of the generation before us.”
Plaatjie has 17 grand-children, 33 grand-great children and 4 great great children.