By Perseverance Javangwe
The children, relatives and church leaders of a beloved 100-year-old father and grandfather ensured that he got the party of a life time to celebrate his centennial milestone.
Lameck Phiri who is from Mbizo Section 5 in Kwekwe turned 100 on May 5. When his children and relatives threw him an unforgettable party it made him happy. Speaking in an interview with this reporter at his homestead while narrating his journey, Phiri confirmed that it was the best moment of his life.
“I was very happy this year I had a birthday party, celebrating 100years. Children, relatives and church leaders joined me in celebrating and we thank God for that.
“I was born in 1921. I worked at Chinhoyi before I came to Kwekwe. I came here in 1945 and was employed at Globe and Phoenix Mine the same year. I proposed to my wife in 1951 and we had our wedding in 1952. In 1953 we had our first born, in 1955 our second born, then in 1960 we had our third child and the fourth one in 1965. all together we have six children, four girls and two boys but unfortunately one girl passed on a while ago,” said Phiri.
He also talked about his secret to living long.
“All my life I loved going to church. God is the one who brought me where I am today. It was because of God that I reached 100years, nothing else but church, Roman Catholic. I love going to church and I thank God he has brought me this far,” he said.
According to Phiri life offers a lot of challenges and it is how we react to these challenges that matter. He says that through his life he has faced numerous challenges but he has never lost focus of the importance of involving God.
“When I was at Globe and Phoenix I was promoted at work and some felt jealous. One man was always harassing me because of that. That man always harassed me until one day when I was sitting, relaxed during a break he let a trailer of stones towards me. Unfortunately one huge stone from the trailer hit my leg and it got fractured but I never retaliated against him. I kept praying to God to grant me strength and I got healed sooner. That’s how we worked at Globe and phoenix.
“Secondly my wife got seriously ill and I had to pray to God asking him to bring her back for me. God brought my wife back. While she was sick and asleep she saw an angel…let her tell you,” he said.
“As I was asleep I touched an angel and in a whisker I was brought back to life. I told my husband and some of the relatives who had visited me not to worry because God had brought me back. Until now I am alive. Yes I can fall sick here and there since I am old but God always heal me,” narrated her wife who will be turning 100 soon.
Phiri and his wife also appealed to well wishers to help them with food. They said some nights they resort to praying only if they have nothing to eat.
“At the moment our only wish is to get food and nothing else. We have clothes, we just wish to have something to eat. If we could get food our lives will be at easy. If we don’t have food we just pray and sleep.
“Sometimes we struggle to get food. But we always ask God to protect us. God knows how we met and what we have been through all these years. So we just put it all in God’s hands. This is when sometimes we see people coming with donations, then we cook and eat. So we always believe God will provide” said Phiri’s wife.
The energetic Phiri also talked about his motivation in life while also advising the youths on how they can live longer like him.
“Our late Bishop inspired us. He encouraged us to focus on praying and never to get tired. Before he passed on he advised us not to focus on earthly desires but rather put most of our attention on God. He passed on a while ago but we are grateful for his motivation and inspiration. He always told us to keep praying and never backing down. That is why we are still here. We always pray.
“The youths should desist from taking drugs, abusing alcohol and indulging in sex with many women or girls. Personally I don’t drink alcohol. They should always pray to God. If you have a wife, just stick to your wife till death. If they do that I guarantee you they will reach the same milestone as me and may the Holy Spirit bless you all and please keep praying,” advised Phiri.
Phiri and his wife need extra attention from the society, hence there is need for the community to extend a helping hand. As stated they only need food and nothing else, let us do our best to help them.