A defaced black Rhodesian metal identity card states his date of birth as June 6, 1902, meaning he has officially lived for a century and stolen a further 13 years from another century.
Gifted with longer life, he remembers only visiting the hospital once in his entire life — two years ago at the age of 111 — after falling blind.
But now, Thampson Mthombeni says he has had enough of life and wants to die.
Mthombeni is of Malawian descent but lives in Njobo village, Mberengwa in Zimbabwe
“Life is boring to me now. I can’t see, I need help every time I want go to the toilet or even going to bed. I no longer travel as I used to and I feel like I’ve seen it all on earth and I should just go to another stage in life,” says Mthombeni, who insists he is older than what his official identity particulars show.
He went on: “If it wasn’t a sin to take my own life, I’d have done it to speed up my entry into another life, a second life.
“I thank God for taking me this far. I think I’ve seen it all. I witnessed World War I, the Russian war and the Chimurenga war. Maybe it’s time I leave earth for a second life in heaven.”
Mthombeni’s booming voice can easily be mistaken for that of a 40-year-old.
Clad in a faded blue hat, a scotched jacket, worn-out greyish trousers and polish-starved leather boots, the frail, skinny and weary Mthombeni sluggishly seeks balancing support from his small wooden stool, as he leans on the walls of his bedroom.
He was born in Mzimba in Northern Malawi.
“I came to Rhodesia where I later obtained a Rhodesian identity card, which was popularly known at that time in the native language as chitikinyani,” he recalls.
Now walking with the aid of a stick and blind, Mthombeni claims he is some 15 years or more older than what is officially registered on his identity particulars. He says he had to lie about his age for him to obtain the identity card.
“What was important for me was to get a form of identity and for officials to accept issuing me with a chitikinyani, so I had to settle for fewer years than my actual age and I chose 1902, which was reasonable even though I was 10 or 15 years older than that,” says Mthombeni.
He does not remember the exact year of his birth.
“I had relatives here in Zimbabwe, so I came to Rhodesia for the first time between 1890 and 1900 and later formalised my stay with the help of relatives who had already settled here,” he adds.
The centenarian claims to have eight children with five women, but says he has lost contact with all his children and is not sure whether they are still surviving or not.
He added: “I stayed in South Africa between 1917 and 1926 where I worked as a miner and got married. Out of that marriage, I had one child.
“I went back to Malawi and got married to another woman and we had two children before I came to Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe I first got married to a woman from Zvishavane where I was one of the first people to work at Shabanie Mine and witnessed its opening. There I sired two children.
“I then went to Shurugwi where I stayed for about 17 years and witnessed the opening of Peak Mine. I also fathered two children but I’ve lost contact with all of them. What I only remember is that I had eight children, six girls and two boys.”
Mthombeni now lives with a distant relative, Samson Ngwenyama, 89, whose roots are also traced to Malawi.—Source: Chronice, ZimbabweFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :