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Vhembe’s Granny Rebecca celebrates 104th birthday

Granny Rebecca celebrated with her family and community, crediting a healthy lifestyle, strong faith, and a commitment to education.

LIMPOPO – The rural village of Thengwe Mutangula under the Thengwe tribal authority nearly came to a standstill on Saturday as children, relatives and community members gathered to celebrate the 104th birthday of Granny Rebecca Nditsheni Tshisudzungwane.

The day was filled with ululations, singing, and traditional dances such as dzikhomba, with participants donning traditional mashedo attire.

Speakers hailed Granny Rebecca as the mother of Tshitanzhe and Thengwe villagers, wishing her many more years to come.

Born and raised in Tshitanzhe village near Musunda in 1920, Granny Rebecca was the firstborn daughter of the royal Tshisudzungwane clan, with three siblings: the late Nyamukamadi Nduvheni, Betty Mulaudzi and the surviving Nyawasedza Tshisudzungwane. Her royal parents were the late Nyamundzhedzi and Jim Tshisudzungwane.

Granny Rebecca was renowned for raising her children and others who were not her own blood.

After receiving her old age pension money, known as tshelede ya mundende, she generously gave it to the children of her siblings and encouraged them to take education seriously.

She had two children, Tshinetise and Tutulani, who were raised with the help of her uncle, the late Vhamunda Jim Tshisudzungwane, after her husband passed away.

She is also blessed with 16 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.

“Life was hard raising my children as a single unemployed mother, but I always prayed to God that one day I would enjoy a better life, like others, if I encouraged my children to take education seriously,” Granny Rebecca said.

“I have now relocated to Thengwe village, where I spend much of my time ploughing in the mealie field near my household, keeping and nurturing my grandchildren, and also encouraging them to take education seriously, as I regard education as the powerful weapon to fight poverty and unemployment.”

Granny Rebecca attributes her longevity to abstaining from alcohol, regular exercise, and attending church services regularly. She enjoys Mopani worms, apples, and follows a vegetarian diet.

One of her children, Tshinetise Tshisudzungwane, a pensioner who worked as a driver for the former Mutale Local Municipality, expressed joy over his mother’s milestone birthday, attributing her long life to God’s grace.

He shared that through their mother’s hard work and guidance, they were raised in the royal Tshisudzungwane family (musanda) and took education seriously, resulting in their progress in life.

Vhavenda Amos Tshisudzungwane of Tshitanzhe village, a close relative, expressed pride in being associated with Granny Rebecca, who has lived such a long and impactful life.

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