Still up and about at 97

Pictured, at back, from left, are Colleen September, Basheera Villet, Fazlin Barends, Shireen Visagie and Liezl Marais. In front are Jocelyn Cockley, Winifred Lingeveld and Maggie Freeman.

Hanover Park resident Winifred Lingeveldt celebrated her 97th birthday on Tuesday April 5 with family and friends at her home.

Ms Lingeveldt is the only surviving sibling of 15 children and was raised in District Six by her mother after her father died when she was just two years old.

She attended a primary school in Cape Town and did not attend high school.

Ms Lingeveldt later became a domestic worker. In 1971 her family was moved to Hanover Park under apartheid’s Group Areas Act.

“My mother was heartbroken. No one wanted to move but we had no choice. When we moved in here it was so raw, now it’s different with all this crime and gangsterism.

“We could walk around, take the bus, now we are not safe but we have to be satisfied with what we have.”

Ms Lingeveldt has fond memories of growing up in District Six. “Each person knew each other. It was a pleasure to live there. It was so nice to be part of such a community.”

Ms Lingeveldt occupied her days knitting and she loved to dance which was how she met her husband, Johannes, one evening.

The couple married two years later and had 10 children.

Asked how she spends her time now, Ms Lingeveldt said: “The same things you do. I can do everything for myself, I help out
with a little bit of everything,” she said.

Every Thursday she attends a social club at the PPK seniors club in Hanover Park. There she enjoys a meal with her friends, knits, and talks about life.

“We sometimes make little things to sell also,” she said.

Ms Lingeveldt is concerned about the youth of today.

She said through her years she has seen how the youth have fallen into moral decay as they have no guidance and hope for a better future.

She hopes they become people of substance who live righteously.

“I will keep praying for a good life for them, so that we can go back to the way things were,” she said.