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Rural granny shares her healthy life secrets

Written by Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

LIMPOPO – Taking her medication correctly, regular exercise and healthy eating are the secrets to a good life according to Meriam Makhaya (70).

The rural pensioner is extremely fit and healthy despite living with high blood pressure and diabetes. Makhaya is a resident of Ha-Mphego village, outside Thohoyandou and was diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure years ago.

At that time she made a promise to herself to take good care of her health by following her treatment programme properly and eating healthily. She has since started a small vegetable garden at her home to make sure she has a good supply of fresh vegetables.

While celebrating her 70th birthday recently, Makhaya said: “I keep on telling other elderly people like me that they must not just sit down the whole day and relax without doing anything. Keeping busy is a form of exercise. I always argue with my children who say that I work too hard. But I tell them that by working hard I am exercising hence I still look this good.”

Active

Makhaya usually spends her free time repairing clothes on her sewing machine.

“I grew up using different sewing machines and most of them I used to use my feet to operate. Today I am still fit and able to walk long distances,” she said.

She said many people tell her she looks too young and healthy to be 71 years old.

“I have made taking my pills a hobby. I never miss them not a single day. Many people are dying early before their time because they neglect their medication and bodies. I do not eat anything other than fresh and healthy food, especially the vegetables from my backyard garden,” said Makhaya.

She said many people tell her she looks too young and healthy to be 71 years old.

“My health and well-being is my number one priority. It is my responsibility to make sure that I look after myself and my health all the times,” she said proudly.

Her eldest son, Fhatuwani Makhaya, described her as a soldier who fears God and respects her health.

“She is a soldier. At her age, she still attends every session at church, whether it’s during the week or over the weekend. And then she comes back home to water her vegetable garden,” he said.

An edited version of this story appeared on Health24.

About the author

Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

Ndivhuwo Mukwevho is citizen journalist who is based in the Vhembe District of Limpopo province. He joined OurHealth in 2015 and his interests lie in investigative journalism and reporting the untold stories of disadvantaged rural communities. Ndivhuwo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Studies from the University of Venda and he is currently a registered student with UNISA.