Sophia Liedemann from Welcome Estate, celebrated her 100th birthday with her family and friends on Saturday July 2.
Ms Liedemann, who grew up in District Six, started work at the age of 12, when she had to help her grandmother – who was a domestic worker – after school, by taking care of the children of her grandmother’s employer.
Ms Liedemann was raised by her grandmother, and she too, later was employed as a domestic worker. She is in good health generally – only her memory has started to fade.
Her grandson, Rodney Liedemann said his grandmother raised him as well.
“She never had a sick bed. She was never bedridden. It is just her memory (that’s been affected),” he said.
Mr Liedemann added his grandmother had two children, both of whom are deceased.
“My father died very young, and my grandmother raised me. She sacrificed so much for me. We moved a few times – between Belthorn Estate and here – until eventually we settled here in Welcome Estate. Her grandmother taught her how to clean a house to prepare my grandmother to work as a domestic worker,” he said.
Her skill has led her to work at several businesses.
Among the places Ms Leidemann worked at, include Metal Box, the Cape Argus canteen, and the last job she held was at St George’s Cathedral.
When asked her secret to a long and healthy life, she jokingly said: “Ek kan nie eers meer al die jare tel nie. (I can’t count all the years anymore).
She added: “The Lord is good. We must appreciate everything God does for us. I can only thank the Lord. He and my grandchildren have been very good to me.”
Ms Liedemann has six grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren.