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"Now I can read and write"

Mama u Mtalane, 93, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa

Mama u Mtalane, 93, from South Africa can now read and write, and receives a pension. (c) Muthande Society for the Aged

Now I have a voice

"My life before democracy was harsh. It was a life with no rights. I wasn't allowed to go to school, but now I can read and write, thanks to the government's literacy campaign.

"Living in a democracy, I can go to the doctor, I have a roof over my head, clean water, electricity, an income and I have a voice. The constitution is there to protect my rights.

Pension pays for grandson's university fees

"One of my most joyous moments is when I receive my pension, adding to the money I make from my traditional medicine. I can pay my grandson's university law fees. I also have an identity document.

Lead a healthy lifestyle so you live longer

"To the young women of today, I say, ‘You must be independent and work hard for your families and lead a healthy lifestyle so that you live longer like me.'"

Source: HelpAge International interview 2015

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