Fredie Blom, believed to be the world’s oldest man alive, celebrated his 114th birthday near Cape Town on Tuesday (8 May 2018) with much fanfare.
With a big smile, Blom cut his birthday cake to the applause of a crowd of well-wishers at his home in Delft, an impoverished township on the outskirts of Cape Town.
Albert Fritz, Minister of Social Development in the Western Cape Province, attended the birthday party.
The provincial government, along with some supermarket chain stores, sponsored the event.
Blom, born to a poor family in 1904 in a small town in Eastern Cape Province, is still able to walk but doesn’t hear so well.
When asked why he managed to live so long, Blom said, “Honor your father and your mother and you will live a long life.”
“Today I feel very proud and happy that so many people came to visit me,” he said.
His 85-year-old wife, Jeamette Blom, said that since Blom retired 30 years ago they had lived in Delft.
Blom is an occasional smoker but he stopped drinking 50 years ago, according to Jeamette.
Blom never gets too stressed about things and has been a “very hard working man,” his wife said.
“After we moved here, he made himself a little wagon and collected wood to sell to add to the little pension money that we are getting,” said Jeamette, adding Blom has been a good husband for her.
Blom has lived a quiet and peaceful life, and “I believe it is by the grace of God that contributed to his long life,” she said.
“No human can make another human live that long, it’s only by the grace of God,” Jeamette added.
Blom’s daughter, Jasmine, said Blom is a good man and a great father.
“God spare him now for 114 years old. And we are so glad to have him as a father,” she said.
Speaking on behalf of the Western Cape government, Fritz said people can’t believe that Blom is 114-year-old.
Blom and his wife have worked as a good team, Fritz joked.
“We want to say great stuff, well done, continue the great work and continue to be the example to everyone in the area. Today the government want to celebrate the achievement of this couple,” Fritz said.