A few weeks back, we introduced you to Cape Town’s very own Fredie Blom, who at 114-years-old is most likely the oldest living man in the world right now.
Now Blom is going global, folks.
The BBC‘s Mohammed Allie did a profile on the centenarian, and it’s quite an interesting eye-opener. From his younger days living under the apartheid era to acquiring celebrity status when people found out how old he was, Blom lays his soul bare.
For starters, he was born in Adelaide in the Eastern Cape in 1904. Because he didn’t attend school, he spent his childhood playing outside and getting up to mischief by shooting at birds with a slingshot.
Blom later left the rural town for the glitz and glamour of Cape Town. He first worked as a farm labourer before he landed a job at a construction company that installed pre-cast concrete walls known locally as vibracrete:
We went all over Cape Town to install walls. I worked there for a long time until my retirement when I was already into my 80s.
That’s solid dedication, Blom, and for that we commend you.
He currently lives in the Delft township with his wife Jeanette [pictured above, left], where life hasn’t been easy due to excessive crime. In fact, he believes the prevalence of crime is the biggest change he’s observed in his lifetime:
Life was much more peaceful. Those were good times. There were no murders and robberies. Nobody got hurt, there was nothing of the sort … now’s it all changed.
That’s bone-chilling stuff.
Where politics is concerned, particularly when South African was under white minority rule, the BBC says Blom remained “completely oblivious”:
I worked on the farm – there was no time for anything else but to do your work. We only heard fleetingly about politics.
Sjoe, you gotta feel for Blom.
Nowadays, the centenarian is taking it easy. Although he’s at an advanced age, he suffers from no ailments at all. As the profile explains, Blom is “still strong enough to wash and dress himself although, according to his wife, he struggles to put on his shoes.”
He’s also only been to the hospital once, which was many years ago due to a problem with his knee. That’s insane. He’s making me feel old.
Although many people have doubted Blom’s age, Sihle Ngobese, spokesperson of the West Cape Dept of Social Development, said that “the fact that the government had issued Mr Blom with an identity document that records his date of birth as 8 May 1904 is proof enough for them”.
Great, but what about breaking a world record, though?
Per the report, if Guinness World of Records can verify his age, Blom could very well snatch the title of the world’s oldest living person, a title that previously belonged to a Jamaican woman, Violet Moss-Brown, until 15 September 2017 when she died at the age of 117.
I bet Blom’s got this one in the bag, no problem.
And the secret to Blom’s longevity?
Get this … he doesn’t have one:
There’s only one thing – it’s the man above [God]. He’s got all the power. I have nothing. I can drop over any time but He holds me.
Barring some leg problems, Blom is ailment-free, bless this lucky guy.
And his frequent smoking doesn’t hurt, either:
Every day I still smoke two to three ‘pills’,” – local slang for tobacco tightly rolled into a cigarette-length piece of newspaper. “I use my own tobacco because I don’t smoke cigarettes.
Smoking or not, Fredie Blom is going strong, and his future’s looking brighter than before.
Still quite some way to go before he rivals Martha Hester Sehao, though.
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