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She’s more than 100 years old!
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 Written by Maja Sajler Garmaz
Margarette Mushoga is more than 100 years old Margarette Mushoga is more than 100 years old Margarette Mushoga with her numerous great-grandchildren

100+Margarette Mushoga is the oldest Rwandan alive. The inhabitants of Kivumu, a village some 40 kilometers from the capital of Kigali, claim that she’s more than 100 years old, while she, on the other hand, believes she’s 120 years old. At any rate, she buried her husband more than 30 years ago, and time has been of very little significance to her lately. For example, she remembers that at the time she gave birth to her first child, Rwanda was still ruled by King Musinga.

And KIng Musinga, according to encyclopedias, ruled the then completely unknown kingdom from 1897 to 1931! Margarette gave birth to ten children, and she has outlived seven of them. Even with the help of her numerous great-grandchildren, who play in the yard of her old house every day, she is unable to name all her descendants.

Counting, she reaches 50 of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, but then she gets confused thinking she forgot someone. So she gives up. Anyway, Margarette cannot count. She only knows that her clay pots, which she makes in her old age, sell at a price of 100 to 200 Rwandese Francs at the Thursday market in Kivumu, and that is worth less than two kunas (Croatian currency) or 33 US cents! The selling is done by her great-grandchildren, if they are not in school or working - digging up fields for a wage of five kunas (1 USD).

Translated by: fra Branimir Mlakić
Edited by: Valerie K. Ken

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