SUFFERING FROM A STROKE AT 42 DIDN’T DETERMINE MY FATE IN ATHLETICS, SAYS MATHE

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By Lerato Khateane

  • Ntate Michael Mathe, a 73-year-old retiree from Rocklands, showcased his athletic prowess by securing 2nd place in the relay event at the 2024 Active Aging games.
  • Despite facing a stroke at 42 that left him unable to speak or walk for almost a year, Ntate Mathe persevered, returning to athletics upon his doctor’s advice and divine intervention, now training daily and mentoring others at Rantlai Molemela stadium.
  • With a career background in clerical work and insurance brokerage, Ntate Mathe’s resilience and dedication serve as an inspiration, using his past medals to encourage and motivate young athletes within his community.

Ntate Michael Mathe, a 73-year-old senior citizen from Rocklands location, obtained 2nd place – Relay position today at 2024 Active Aging games.

He worked as a clerk at Pelonomi Hospital for 12 years before joining Prosperity Insurance and worked for 15 years. 

After retiring, he joined the Thusong Luncheon Club in 2011, and it has been 14 years since he retired as an insurance broker.

Ntate Mathe is also a karate player with 3 black belts, and after winning several medals, he became the Sengsei, meaning Principal. He also did Judo and won several gold medals.

At the age of 42, tragedy struck him and he suffered a stroke for almost a year. He couldn’t speak or walk, and he started fighting for his life to go back to normal. ” I asked God why I should suffer,” says Ntate Mathe. God answered my prayers and my doctor also advised me to return to athletics and sports. 

He trains every day at Rantlai Molemela stadium and runs 400m daily. He also trains other luncheon clubs from Monday to Friday and does not use a taxi or car to go to town.

He won the relay in the Free State, Eastern Cape and 800m in KZN. He uses his previous medals to encourage young athletes with his rotating medals.

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