Anna April, a Parow resident fondly referred to as Nanna, turned 100 last Tuesday, April 26, and credits her century of living to God’s grace.
Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long, says Ms April.
The centenarian celebrated the milestone with a small gathering of friends and family. The reception area at her granddaughter’s home where she lives was decorated with pink and white glitter-filled balloons.
“Who would have thought?” said the trendy Ms April, dressed in a snake skin, silk shirt and blue frilled skirt, when her great-granddaughter Kate-Lynn van Rooyen reminds her that she’s 100 years old.
Ms April was born in 1922 in Koue Bokkeveld, Ceres. She later moved to Elsies River to live with her sister. The two siblings were inseparable says her granddaughter, Georgina Groenewald.
She now stays in Parow where she is taken care of by her granddaughters and occasionally a health care worker.
She was a midwife and is the only one remaining out of seven children. She doesn’t have any biological children but raised her sister’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren as her own.
“We give all the praise and honour to the Lord and thank him for carrying her this far. None of us know if we will reach that age. It’s not up to us,” said her granddaughter, Olga Domingo.
“We pray for strength and health and that the Lord spares her.”
Ms April was diagnosed with dementia, a disorder that affects the memory, thinking ability and attention span. During moments of confusion she uses her family member’s jewellery as cues to jog her memory.
“She identifies me by my two rings,” said Ms Van Rooyen.
“She is always busy; she makes her bed, folds the laundry and crawls everywhere. She crawls because sometimes her legs cause her problems,“ said Ms Domingo.
Ms Groenewald says her grandmother spends most of her time at church and used to be a deacon.
Ms Van Rooyen says that she enjoys her great-grandmother’s stories and sense of humour.
“She often tells us stories about her working days… such as when she was a midwife or when she used to work for the Portuguese, baking vetkoek at their fisheries,” said her great-granddaughter, Kayley April.
“We want to wish Nanna all the best,” she said.