News & events


Has the person who will live for 200 years already been born? Celebrating Longevity in Africa

01 October 2018
12:30 - 14:00

• Prof. Monde Makiwane | Longevity in Africa: A case study
• Ms Ntombizonke Gumede | The changing role of older persons in society
• Dr Chammah Kaunda | Value of Old Age in African Cultures
• Mr Mzolisi Makiwane | The role of iintsomi
• Dr Fubah Alubafi | Older persons in African idioms

Date: 1 October 2018   

Time: 12:30 – 14:00     

Venues: Pretoria, Durban, PE and Cape Town

Reflections on longevity go beyond simple acknowledgement of how long humans can live. In most cases, researchers seek to understand how healthy living has been extended in different contexts. The major difficulty associated with the study of longevity, especially in Africa, has been the challenges in authenticating the human life span, in a manner that is consistent with current verification standards. Research suggests that longevity has essentially, largely been documented in Western countries. However, in recent years, there has been a growing realization that experiences of longevity might be higher in some non-Western societies. Yet, in spite of this, longevity outside the Western context, remains largely undocumented, and more importantly, the factors that are related to longevity remain unknown. The seminar is in celebration of International Day of Older Persons.

African idioms
A village without the elderly is like a well without water. Fire that is surrounded by elders cannot burn you.

What the elders see while sitting the young ones standing on their toes won’t see. The strength of the elderly is in the ears and on the lips.
The mouth of an elderly person is without teeth, but never without words of wisdom.  An elder can miss a stone; never a word
Ask about a Buffalo from those who are ahead.

Kindly RSVP by 28 September 2018

Pretoria: HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Contact: Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail:

Cape Town: HSRC, Merchant House 116-118 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town. Contact: Carmen Erasmus, Tel: (021) 466 7827, e-mail:

Durban:  The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Berea, 4001. Contact: Ridhwaan Khan, Tel: (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786, e-mail:

Port Elizabeth: 1st Floor East Wing, Building 1 Ascot Office Park, Corner Conyngham & Ascot Roads, Greenacres, Port Elizabeth 6001. Contact: Nomfanelo Plaatjie, email: or 041 393 9500.

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of the DST

Kindly note that seminars can now be accessed via the Vidyo link: