Gogo Maelenga celebrates 100th anniversary

“Fear God and have good diet in your meals,” exclaimed Gogo Lilian Maelenga who has celebrated her 100th birthday recently.

It all started with Holy Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Dr. Joseph Kimu, the Director of Radio Maria Malawi at St. Louis Montfort chapel near Montfort Media Limited in Balaka district.

In his homily, Fr. Kimu said that we have all the reasons to thank God for the gift of life which God freely gave each one of us. He reminded the congregation that most of the useful things in our life are free.

“If we had to buy air which we breath every second, we could have not afforded to buy it every day. But air which is indispensable in our life is offered for free by our good God. Regrettably we often forget to thank God for this precious gift,” said Fr. Kimu.

Fr Kimu with Gogo Maelenga during the celebration of a Holy Mass

“When I was young, I used to eat mangoes and one day I told my grandmother that the mangoes were sweet. But my grandmother quickly responded that it was not the mangoes that were sweet but life. She told me that if I were sick, I could not feel the sweetness of the mangoes,’” preached Fr. Kimu.

Fr. Kimu continued that in the Old Testament to live for many years was regarded a great blessing from God for one’s good life.  In many societies old people are regarded as walking encyclopaedia or walking dictionaries. But it is unfortunate today in our society that old people are regarded as witches or wizards.

“Today we are in the triumphant culture, the culture of wellbeing, of the useful, of the beautiful and the healthy.  We do not respect our old people because they are no longer productive. We take them as a burden because we have to take care of them. But old people are very important to our life.” said Fr. Kimu.

In his speech, Fr. Piergiorgio Gamba the Managing Director of Montfort Media Limited who co-celebrated the Holy Mass of thanksgiving for the long life of Gogo Lilian said life is sweet and it is a gift from God, it also applies to Christianity.

“Christianity is sweet and it is a gift from God. Let us learn from the good example which Gogo Lilian has given us,” said Fr. Gamba.

After Holy Mass, Ernest Malenga, the choir master advised the fellow youths to slowdown and emulate the good example of Gogo Lilian.

“A girl of 15 years is being called aunt today because she is already a mother of two or more. You will not live longer like Gogo Lilian. Slowdown and live life accordingly,” said Malenga.

Gogo Lilian Maelenga was born on 13 September, 1911. He hails from Chiyendausiku village in Traditional Authority Nsamala in Balaka district.  After the death of her husband, Gogo Lilian worked as a house maid for several years. She took care of the children of white people.

Because of interaction with the whites, Gogo Lilian speaks fluent English, though she has never been to school and she does not know how to read or write.

All her 5 children died. She is survived with 15 grand children. And she is being taken care of by Martha Kwayera, her granddaughter.

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