The 87-year-old owns a large farm at his home village, and does everything on his own.
“If you want to have long life, eat healthy food, stay away from alcohol, do a lot of physical work and have only one partner.”
These are the wise words of 87-year-old Khaukanani Obed Lukhwa of Mukula village outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo who describes himself as a “young boy”. His age does not stop him from doing what he enjoys most — farming.
Lukhwa, who owns a large farm at his home village, does not have workers and he does everything on his own.
“I wake up at 4:00 every day and walk to my nearby farm. I then walk back home at 10:00 to have some breakfast and go back to the farm again. At 13:00, I go back home for lunch and return to the farm at 14:00 until I knock off at 17:00. I don’t even use a walking stick because I’m still very strong on my own.”
He says he started farming many years ago after he retired as a bricklayer.
“Farming is my passion and I will never stop until my last day on earth. Besides getting some cash by selling my products to the public, the daily activities on my farm keep me strong and healthy. I operate all the garden tools on my own and never need any assistance. At times, family members would follow me at the farm to come back home, thinking that I’m burdening myself with shovels, hand hoes and spades. I gladly tell them that I’m doing it voluntarily and I enjoy it wholeheartedly,” he says.
Lukhwa, who does not drink alcohol or smoke, added that some of the secrets for his long life include his hard work as a bricklayer many years ago.
“I worked the whole day building houses, schools, churches and clinics. When I sit down doing nothing, I feel like there is something missing in my body. I seldom get sick because my body is physically fit and healthy. I encourage other senior citizens to keep themselves busy to be healthy at all times.”
He says he enjoys eating fruit and vegetables and he does not prefer meat.
“I can rather go for fish, mopane worms or dried vegetables instead of meat. Alcohol is a taboo and I drink a lot of water on a daily basis. We would have a very healthy community if young people would emulate my life.”