Meet Matebeleland's oldest woman

Meet Matebeleland's oldest woman
Published: 07 September 2015 | by Thembani Mthembo Dube
Matebeleland's possible oldest woman celebrated her 103rd birthday on the 5th of September 2015 at Mzilikazi Township in Bulawayo.

Eve Mkandla nee Gumede was born on the 5th of September 1912, 19 years after the 1st Matebele Rebellion War of 1893 and just 20 years after the disappearance of King Lobengula in 1894. It was also roughly 10 years after Cecil John Rhodes had died in March 1902. 

Going by her given date of birth, it also means that Eve Mkandla nee Gumede was 10 years old when a white only referendum on the status of Southern Rhodesia was held on the 27th of October 1922 to either form a responsible government or join the union of South Africa. 

Eve Mkandla nee Gumede was therefore born at the time when colonialists were putting up, entrenching and consolidating their colonial governing structures in both Matebeleland and Mashonaland respectively and in then Northen Rhodesia (Zambia).

1912 is also a year when the largest passenger-liner The Titanic sank in April after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic ocean killing more than 1 500 people. 

The ship's voyage was from Southampton to New York. Eve Mnkandla nee Gumede was born 5 months after that significant  world event. 

In that year of 1912 Woodrow Wilson was elected the President of the USA and New Mexico and Arizona were admitted as America's 47th and 48th states respectively.  In January of that year the Republic of China had just been established.

Eve Mkandla nee Gumede was married to Jortham Mkandla. She had 6 children with Mkandla. The oldest is 82 years. She has lost 2 of her male children and 1 female. 3 of her children are still around, one male and 2 daughters.

MaMkandla comes from Lupane in a place called Gomoza. She is currently living in Mzilikazi suburb with her relatives having recently moved from Lupane. She walks with the aid of a stick and has a full set of teeth. Her favourite food is ocra, meat, umvushwa ledobi and ibhobola. 

Eve's  memory is reportedly still very sharp. She is apparently the first in her family to be blessed with such a long life.

- Source:umthwakazireview.com, Ethel Nyoni

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