PIETERMARIZBURG, South Africa – A grandmother from Pietermaritzburg, KawZulu-Natal, Girlie Gertrude Makhathi-Mvelase, is living proof you can do anything you set your mind to.
The 80-year-old drove for the first time when her grandson Khaya Mvelase visited her from Dubai, where he works, and within 10 minutes Gogo Girlie looked completely comfortable behind the wheel.
The video has since gone viral after Khaya proudly posted it on Facebook last week.
Khaya, who’s a paramedic, says it happened during one of his regular visits home when he took his grandmother for a spin as a “gift” after he’d missed her 80th birthday.
Although she’d previously mentioned she’d like the opportunity to drive, she was somewhat reluctant at first but Khaya managed to convince her to try it.
“After 10 minutes of showing her what to do, we drove around a soccer field for about 45 minutes and you could just see the excitement on her face,” he told YOU, adding that his gogo wanted to continue driving the entire day.
“I posted it on the #ImStaying movement group, woke up in the morning and my phone had many notifications,” he adds.
Khaya still can’t believe the video has attracted so much attention.
He’s also receiving messages from people all over the world.
“I really loved the video with your grandma driving. She looked so happy and her happiness was so evident. Please make more videos with Gogo. She now has a fan in Canada,” a Facebook user said.
The 35-year-old was raised by his granny and that’s why it’s important for him to always go home and have special moments such as these with her.
“I never thought this video will go as far as everywhere in the world. I’ve been receiving messages from people all over the world, as far as Switzerland, Canada and other African countries,” he says.
“People keep sending lots of love for Granny and getting inspired. It’s never too late. No matter how old you are, you can still accomplish your dreams.”
“My granny has always been here for me and my next goal is to bring her to come live with me,” he says.
He hopes that Gogo will become a regular driver.
Gogo Girlie, who’s a retired cleaner describes the experience as an exciting moment and says she wanted to keep driving for much longer that day.
She adds that even though she’s only driven the one time and would need proper training before she drives again, she has hopes of getting her licence one day.