According to her ID document “Koko” Sehawa was born on January 9 1897 — which would make her the oldest person alive at 124-years-old. Prophetic watchman and Gateway News correspondent Junia Mosupyoe went to Ventersdorp last weekend to visit “Granny Koko”. This is her report.
I had the privilege of sleeping over at the home of Koko Esther over the past weekend — an arrangement I made for this particular visit — because I wanted to have enough time with the family and in the presence of her greatness and antiquity
“Koko” Esther Sehawa née Molusi was born and bred on a farm near Klerksdorp/Matlosane in North West and later relocated to Tshing Township in Ventersdorp — a town once notorious as the headquarters of Afrikaner rightwing extrmism.
She and her late husband Abraham had nine children who also grew up working on the farm.
Five of their children passed on and only four are left. Granny Koko currently lives with her daughter, Sanah. in a 2-bedroom RDP house in Extension 8, together with many of her great grand children
Their home is always abuzz with kids, filled with laughter, love and a lot of teasing and Koko is well taken care of and always kept clean
Her Molusi lineage comes from the tribe of Batlhaping who are the custodians of the SecHuana Bible which was the first Bible in SA translated by missionary Robert Moffat who lived with the Batlhaping in Kuruman for 40 years
Her marital surname of Sehawa comes from the Barolong tribe which is the tribe of Kudu/Tholo and the custodian of the kudu shofar or sound which is normally used to herald news, call meetings, etc.
Just like all families, Koko Hester/Esther ‘s family faces many challenges.
One of her great grand sons was on drugs but is now recovering after rehabilitation, many family members are unemployed and the family survives on Koko’s pension
I always wash Koko’s feet when I visit her but this time, because I was sleeping over, I was able to see a huge scar on her left side which runs from the shoulder to the knee. The scar is a result of a deep would she suffered after falling on a huge ground fire with her children after their mud farm house collapsed on them and buried them alive in 1965. She spent six months in hospital after this ordeal.
She became a single mother to her nine children after her husband passed on.
All Koko ‘s senses are intact. She is able to speak, though not with long sentences. She sees well, hears well and always feeds herself. She walks to the toilet aided.
She smiles a lot and eats well — including meat which she loves. She always shares everything she eats with the little ones which is typical of the African granny culture that we all grew up with.
Her ID confirms that she was born on 9 .01 1897 meaning she recently turned 124. We have always read her a psalm related to her years –meaning this year we ministered to her from Psalm 124
Her long life story, including the huge scar, speaks of of resilience and an unbreakable spirit, especially as she has encountered and witnessed so much SA history from colonialism to apartheid to democracy.
Koko Hester/Esther is our ancient and precious gate, especially for the
BatsHwana nation. She is one of our most valuable intercessory gatekeepers and watchmen, especially in presence ministry where her presence and age speak louder than her voice. We are privileged to have such an elder.
BatsHwana Redemptive Mandate
North West Province