“Honour your parents, stay off the street and stay away from alcohol.”
These are the sage words of a wise ouma from Leonsdale who turned 101 on Sunday.
The home of ouma Doris Brink buzzed with excitement as she danced with friends and family in Bourne Road to celebrate her milestone.
Ward Councillor Franchesca Walker brought Doris a cake donated by Pick n Pay. Doris was born in Bo-Kaap on 9 January 1921 and later her family moved to Elsies River.
She completed Standard 6 (Grade 8) but left school as a teen to help support her family. “My family was getting swaar so I had to leave to go and work,” she tells Daily Voice.
“I worked in the house of a madam from England as a domestic worker and she was very good to me but she later left Cape Town and I spent my years working as a cleaner at Tygerberg Hospital and Shoprite.
“When I was a young girl, I worked for my mother and gave my pay packet straight to her and that is why the Lord carried me all these years, because I honoured my parents.”
She was in her 20s when she met her first husband Samuel Meyer and the couple had four daughters and two sons.
Several years later, Samuel died due to illness and Doris continued to raise her children on her own.
But one day in 1976 while walking in 9th Avenue in Leonsdale, she was introduced to her current husband Richard Brink by her eldest son, David.
Richard, 74, says: “I was a young man in my 20s and Doris was the mother of my friend David.
“I was deurmekaar and suiping and she changed my life. She is a devoted Christian and helped me come right and I decided I must marry her. Her children are my children,” says the proud oupa.
When she was 99, ouma Doris fell and broke her hip and ended up in a wheelchair. Granddaughter Lauren Swartz, 33, who helps care for her, says less than a month later, the busy ouma was up and about.
“She is up and down and likes dancing to keep fit. She is a true Pinkster [Pentecostal]. “Unlike other people her age, she has no illnesses and doesn’t even have to go to the clinic for pille. She has no special diet but she loves having a piece of KFC.”
Ouma Doris says she is now dancing her way to 102: “I honoured my parents and that is why God blessed me. I stayed away from alcohol and was always in the house. I also like dancing.”