Nkukutane Johanna Mazibuko, born on 11 May 1894, has witnessed the ebbs and flows of history, from apartheid to both World Wars, the moon landing, and the independence of every colonized African nation. Could she possibly be the oldest person in the world? The community around her in South Africa is rallying for her recognition by the Guinness World Records.
Every technological marvel we take for granted today – cars, airplanes, cellphones, and the internet – emerged during Gogo Mazibuko’s remarkable three-century-spanning life.
The matriarch has outlived most of her seven children, leaving only two still alive, but her legacy extends to over 50 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Despite her advanced age, she continues to walk and see clearly, though hearing has become a challenge.
Raised on a maize farm in Ottosdal, South Africa, Johanna was the eldest of 12 children. She resides in Jouberton, Klerksdorp, recounting her life’s journey that led her to marry a considerably older man, a widower who cared for her deeply.
“I was married to an older man. His first wife had died. He was an independent man with a horse carriage and cows. I would milk the cows and make butter to sell. Despite his wealth, I did not want for anything,” shared Gogo Mazibuko.
Her life wasn’t solely defined by prosperity; she also worked as a domestic worker on farms. Johanna’s longevity, which has brought her to the impressive age of 128, remains a marvel. While unsure of the secret to her remarkable lifespan, Gogo Mazibuko attributes it to traditional diets, including fresh