Twenty years after choosing and buying her casket, the oldest woman in Botswana has died.
Born in Nswazwi viillage in the North East District in 1880, Ntame Zambezi expired on Wednesday at 11am at her house in the same village she lived all her life.
Her grand Child, Tunnah Zambezi said that her grand mother, who left behind what could be the largest family in the country knew her time of death had come.
Although she bought her casket in 1991 it was only about a week ago that she called her four children and some of her favourite 159 grand children to visit her in Nswazwi to spend time with them and say her goodbyes.
“She jovially teased the grandchildren on how much they were going to miss her. On the day she died she simply told those who were with her that she was now too tired to go on living and that it was therefore time for her to go. Immediately after that she went into her bedroom and breathed her last,” Tunnah said
Zambezi was active and walked without assistance until the last day.
Asked what kept her granny alive and in good health for so long, Tunnah said the old woman who outlived her husband whom she buried in 1980 and 10 of her 14 children, basically preferred a good diet of natural and fresh food from her farm and stayed active and in good spirits most of her life.
“It was only towards the end that she started demanding that she be served processed food like white rice, spaghetti as well as food stuffs like mayonnaise and tomato sauce, in the hope that they would speed up her death.” Tunnah revealed
Zambezi is also remembered fondly by Tunna for what she called , “her brilliant ideas.”
“Although she never had formal employment and education Nkuku, (granny) was economically savvy. She esteemed the value of saving money for a rainy day and always encouraged us to save. In 1991 she had saved P40 000 in the bank and in the same year she sold five cattle and bought herself a fancy casket which she is going to be buried in. Her idea was not to leave behind debts and not to burden anybody with funeral costs,”said 30 year old Tunnah who has been inspired by her grandmother amazing life story to aim for 150 years.
Zambezi will be buried in Nswazwi this weekend.