GOGO RUTH Mphatsoe is going strong at the ripe old age of 100.

She still sits on the board of the Ethiopian Catholic Church and sews for herself, her grandkids and great-grandkids.

On Saturday, relatives, friends and neighbours gathered to celebrate the lively gogo’s 100th birthday at her home in Maboloka, North West.

The gogo told the SunTeam she was born in the Free State in 1917, but after marrying her husband Alpheus, who died in 1988, she moved to Soweto.

“Although I have never tasted alcohol and ate little meat throughout my life, there is no secret to my long life,” she said.

“I think God kept me so I could guide his congregation.”

The gogo encouraged guests at her party to love each other and attend church.

“My husband was a priest and I never missed church, unless I was seriously ill,” she said.

“I was taught to love all people because everyone was created in the image of God.”

Gogo Ruth’s son Mpotu (64) said his mum was the family’s pillar of strength.

He said the gogo had 41 grandkids, 39 great-grandkids and 18 great-great-grandkids.

Mpotu said his mum has stayed strong despite burying six of her 10 kids.

“She still insists on making clothes for me, even though I’m also a pensioner,” he said.

“All my life my mother has been taking care of people.”

Ruth’s great-granddaughter Mpho (28) said her gogo was an inspiration.

“She has survived hard times but she is not bitter,” Mpho told Daily Sun.

“Instead, she keeps working to make others happy.

“I wish to age beautifully like her. She has great skin.”



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