76-yr-old domestic worker still going strong
GARBED in her uniform, 76-year-old Gogo Idah Nyathi takes short steps and sometimes leans on her walking cane as she heads for Gwanda’s city centre where she is employed as a domestic worker.
Gogo Nyathi is a common sight in Gwanda as she makes her way on a journey that seems to take forever. She boards a Zupco bus or kombi from her home in the high-density suburbs to the city centre.
While most of her peers have thrown in the towel as their ageing bodies cannot endure the burden anymore, Gogo Nyathi still soldiers on. Born on November 28 1943, determination, the love for her job and the need to survive has kept her going, even as she turns 77 in three months’ time.
With over 50 years’ experience working as a domestic worker, she has held her current job for about 40 years.
While her ability to work has lessened, Gogo Nyathi, originally from Silonga area in Gwanda, said she can still manage her chores.
“I started working as a domestic worker in 1966 when I was 23 years old after I had left my job at Liebigs Factory in West Nicholson where I had worked for two years. I have worked in several homes in Gwanda Town. I can’t remember the exact number. I have been working at the house where I’m currently stationed for about 40 years now. I can’t remember when I started exactly because it’s been long and my memory is no longer sharp as you can see that I’m very old now,” she said.
“Loyalty, honesty and hard work has helped me keep my job for this long. Wherever I worked I had good relations with my employers. Some of them would relocate and recommend me to their neighbours. The money I have been making over the past years helped me to raise my children as I was a single mother for the greater part of my life,” she said.
Gogo Nyathi said quitting was not an option as she had to survive and also fend for her seven-year-old great grandson she lives with. She said she had five children but three died leaving her with two.
Gogo Nyathi said her surviving children, a son and daughter were both in South Africa. She said she hardly hears from her son while her daughter was continuously assisting her but with the prevailing lockdown, she was unable to send groceries. Gogo Nyathi said she also did not want to be a burden to her daughter as she has her own family to look after which is why she saw it proper to fend for herself.
She said thanks to technology she could perform some of her chores with little sweat.
Gogo Idah Nyathi