Johanna Tutasn !Howaes, who was born on January 2, 1903 to housekeeper Amalia #Nuses and cattle-herder Johannes #Khamseb at Farm Hausemann in //Hae //Goab in Otavi district, has died.
The supercentanarian, who recently attributed her longevity to her fear of God and her love of wild fruit reportedly died peacefully in her sleep in Otjiwarongo. “She passed away last Saturday peacefully at home. She did not complain of pain,” said Albertine ‘Ousie Blom’ !Hoaes, one of the granddaughters of !Howaes.
!Hoaes and her daughter had spent the night with the elderly grandmother before she fell asleep. “She was a person who liked to make jokes and tell stories. She was a gift that God gave us,” according to Ousie Blom. She said her family is grateful to God for giving them such a rare gift.
“Even though we are in mourning and cry we accept the fact that she was a gift God gave to us and may her soul rest in eternal peace,” said the supercentanarian’s granddaughter.
Ouma !Howaes will be buried next week Saturday and a memorial service will be held at the Evangelical Lutheran Church at Otjiwarongo while the memorial service will start next week Thursday at the residence where the 113-year-old resided in Damara location. New Era recently visited the late !Howaes and asked her to share the secret to a long life, to which she replied: “If you want to be old, like me, respect your elders and God will bless you. If you respect your elders then you will live many years like me. Don’t insult your elders. Nowadays children are way too clever,” !Howaes told New Era two weeks ago.
!Howaes said as a child she used to eat wild fruit, such as //U, //Haie (wild potatoes), //Haba, #Hou, //Hari, #Hu-di and Doroli in the areas of Komkandi, Visfinger and Tsausabis in the Otavi area.
The elderly lady was also proud of the fact that she was married out of the house of President Hage Geingob’s mother, //Haiba Geingos at Otavi and she vividly remembered being carted off on her wedding day as one of the happiest times of her life.
Ellie Uxams, a 107-year-old resident of Otjiwarongo, is now believed to be the oldest living resident of Otjiwarongo.