There are very few people who can say that they have lived through many of recent history’s events – two world wars, democracy in South Africa, the new millennium and now even a new international pandemic. Yet one South African, Fredie Blom, has seen it all!
South Africans recently celebrated the 116th birthday of Oupa, as Fredie is affectionately known, when he celebrated this milestone on May 8.
Happy birthday to the oldest living South African (and unofficially the oldest person in the world!) Oupa Fredie Blom from Delft turns 116 today 🎈🎉 🎁🎂 I hope Cyril sends you some tobacco 😭 pic.twitter.com/upzjQAtc0R— Sibongile Mafu (@sboshmafu) May 8, 2020
Born in 1904 in Adelaide, a small town in the Eastern Cape, Oupa Fredie is one of the oldest people in South Africa and unofficially one of the oldest people in the world as the Guinness World Records is said to be verifying this.
Fredie has lived through quite a few historical events including both world wars, Apartheid and the Spanish Flu he apparently lost his sister to. There has been an outpouring of birthday wishes and love for Oupa Fredie on social media, with many saying they wished he could have spent his special day under better circumstances. There even was a running joke that the only thing he would like is to be able to get his hands on some tobacco.
His birthday was celebrated by various people across the country and even by a popular Cape Town bakery Charly’s Bakery, who were sad they could not bake him another cake for his 116th.
Happy Birthday, Oupa Fredie Bloem. You carry the world’s memories and are a vessel of hope to those South Africans who fear that there may be no tomorrow. Your birthday affirms that there always will be hope.
Here’s to many more years, here’s to you!