Ma de Kock turns 107

Nora and her third youngest grandchild, Donique outside her Sarepta home.

At 107, Nora de Kock says she is still fit enough to take a third husband.

“Ek voel gesond. Ek is nog fiks. Ek kan nog ’* man kry,” the Kuils River resident says with a keen eye on her third youngest granddaughter, Donique de Kock, but Donique doesn’t take the bait.

The cheeky granny laughs delightedly explaining that usually the statement provokes an eye-roll from the 20-year-old, at the very least.

Ms De Kock, or Ma De Kock as she is widely known in the community, celebrated her 107th birthday on Friday May 12. She credits her long life to living in “love and peace” with everyone.

Donique, who lives nearby, comes to Ma’s home to help her every day. How much help does Ma need, the Northern News asks?

The question is answered with the very eye-roll that Ma had been trying to provoke.

“She’s a very stubborn person,” Donique replies.

The “stubbornness” Donique is referring to, is Ma De Kock’s insistence on doing all her own chores.

She still makes her own bed, does her own washing and cooks all her own food in the granny flat she lives in behind her youngest son’s house in Sarepta. Sundays she also walks roughly a kilometre to the AOG Church in Kuils River, where she still “juigs”.

Ma is used to hard work. Young folks have it easy, she says.

“Ek was altyd gehoorsaam aan my ma en pa en ek het vir hulle gewerk. Ons het baie swaar gekry. Ons het baie hard gewerk. Mense lewe lekker nou,” she says.

Ma was the eldest of 12 children and has outlived all of her siblings. She went on to marry twice and bore three children — two daughters and a son.

Asked how many grandchildren she has, she says to Donique: “Hoe! Tel jy.”

There are seven, Donique says. And great-grandchildren? Donique starts counting, but Ma interrupts frequently, reminding her of this one or that one’s daughter or son who has been left out. By the count of eight, Donique becomes exasperated.

“Hoe! Dis te veel,” she cries before Ma reminds her of yet one more. The final tally is nine.

And great-great-grandchildren? They both agree — there are eight.

Of all her progeny, Ms De Kock has had to bury only one, but she has also buried two husbands.

Was she serious about taking another husband, we ask? She laughs delightedly and says: “As ek nou ’* man moet vat, dan is ek dood.”