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Age ain’t nothing but a number

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“Life is a blast,’ says 102- years -old man as he prepares to marry.

At the ripe old age of 102, Samuel Lumbala, a Jamataka resident is excited about life and planning a wedding!

Being of Lozi by origin, Lumbala was born in a small village called Lungu in Zambia.

He arrived in Bechuanaland back in 1961 as one of the workers on the railways from former Rhodesia.

He settled in Tonota, near Francistown, married a local woman and never looked back.

“As you probably already know, Batswana women are addictive, I got hooked and never thought of going back home up to now,” says the old man who has outlived his parents, his two wives and two of his children, laughing his lungs out.

Asked why he needed to marry when he is supposed to be winding down business and getting ready for the grave, the oldest citizen in Jamataka quips, ” Age is not an issue! Besides, the only life I have known the longest is life with a woman by my side. It makes me happy, so why not?”

He further explains that since he is still fit and capable to work ad provide for a wife, he really sees no reason why he can’t marry.

“I can ride my bicycle to have few drinks at a nearby Shebeen, so why can’t I find a partner? In fact I already have a woman whom I met after my wife passed away last year, so it’s just a matter of formalizing the relationship,” Old Lumbala says but vehemently refused to divulge the name of the woman and her age, except to say, ” You’ll see her on our wedding day, which will definitely sometime before my birthday in December. She is beautiful!”

BIKE RIDER: Samuel
BIKE RIDER: Samuel

The old man proudly points out that the new woman was already performing all household chores for him, just like his late wife did.

“She cooks and cleans the house and even spends most of her time at my place although she has her own place so it was only fair that I made an honest woman out of her. That is why I’m planning to do the right thing and ask for her hand in marriage.”

His first wife died ages ago and Lumbala remarried twice.

He however had only five children with the first wife and none with the other two wives.

“ My first wife was born in 1921 like former President Sir Seretse Khama. My last wife died last year leaving me with no choice but to find someone again since all my children are married and busy with their own lives. I’m not even close to my grandchildren.”

The secret to living long and strong Lumbala says is to observe a strict diet, work hard and keep one’s faith in God.

“Truly speaking there is no magic regarding long life. You just have to eat well, exercise and pray. That’s all,” he advised before he added, “And oh, avoiding modern medication has also saved me from all kinds of new diseases which have affected so many people.”

A war veteran who fought in West Germany Lumbala says the downside to living long is trauma that you go through as you bury so many loved ones over the years.

“I am probably the oldest man in this village but I am also also still healthy and happy to fit in extra years. The only problem though is that all my friends, including my first and second wife are all gone,” mused Lumbala.

Although he is a staunch member of the Saint John Church, the jolly old man still smokes and drinks traditional beer.

“I was baptized in the great Zambezi River by Bishop Sasela back home in 1947. But nowadays I just pray alone at home and do not go to church, but I still strongly believe in God,” he said nursing a bottle of traditional beer.

On his 103rd birthday on December 15th, the old man plans to throw a big bash with his new wife to celebrate life.

Asked what he would like for a birthday present the old man didn’t hesitate; “If only someone could be kind enough to build me a proper house, fence my yard, connect running water for me and get me some few tools to revamp my carving and gun fixing trade I would be thankful to the Almighty God because indeed life is still worth living!”