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Mother’s Day, early birthday treat for Gertrude (101)

Some 40 years ago Gertrude Nondaba, along with other community members, voted in agreement to allow the casino to open, knowing that this would drive tourism and jobs in the area.

With age comes wisdom, and at 101 years old, Gertrude Nondaba certainly has plenty of life experience to share.

The Mbizana resident, who has outlived all of her five children, was invited to a Mother’s Day high tea and early-birthday stayover by Wild Coast Sun General Manager, Peter Tshidi.

Gertrude, who celebrates her 102nd birthday on June 15, enjoyed her favourite beverage of tea, along with delectable pastries, cakes, sandwiches and savoury nibbles in the Lagoon Bar, accompanied by her relative Nomalakhi Nkonzo. The pair then enjoyed a restful night in a luxurious sea-facing room, being served dinner and breakfast.

“I remember being here more than 40 years ago when I, along with other community members, voted in agreement to allow the casino to open, knowing that this would drive tourism and jobs in the area,” Gertrude said.

She also recalled a later experience where she gambled for the first time in her life and won R1000 – a large amount all those years ago.

The early birthday treat was a welcome surprise.

“I was very excited to receive the call inviting us to stay, and the staff treated me with respect, love and warmth during my visit.”

Gertrude was excited to take a birthday cake, baked by Wild Coast Sun to church the following morning to share with her fellow congregants. The reveal of the cake was another exciting moment, as everyone joined in to sing happy birthday and take photos with the elderly gogo.

“My grandchildren have given me many great great-grandchildren, and I am blessed to have them in my life,” she said.

“I am very thankful to have lived this long – my first rule to live a long, happy life is to pray to God, my second rule is to eat healthy food, and my third rule is to remain active – I wake up at 05:00 and do stretching exercises.”

Gertrude also continues to read and write, and plough her own garden, growing fruit and vegetables which she shares with the community. She is fortunate enough not to require any medication.

“Today’s youth should try to avoid wrongdoings, ask God to forgive their sins, build a relationship with God and respect their parents so as to live longer,” she advised.

“Many of our staff are drawn from our surrounding communities, and Wild Coast Sun is always looking for ways to give back,” said Tshidi. “It was a pleasure to host Gertrude and give her a special spoil for Mother’s Day as well as her birthday, and we are glad she enjoyed it.”

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