76-yr-old do­mes­tic worker still go­ing strong

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Sukul­wenkosi Dube-Matutu Gwanda Correspond­ent

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

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