Takalane Makapile, aged 47, gave birth to quadruplets at the George Mukhari Hospital in Ga-Rankuwa on October 29 2005. She last gave birth 32 years ago, when she was 15.
Takalane Makapile, a casual labourer comes from Venda. Her feat is described by medical experts as “amazing” and “probably some sort of record”. She is listed as “Oldest Mother of Spontaneous Quads (When the quads were born)”
Makapile, who is unmarried, learned she was pregnant seven months ago and was mildly unhappy about it. But she was downright shocked when doctors confirmed she was expecting quadruplets. The quads are made up of three girls and one boy.
All the children were well, but two were very small and kept in special incubators.
Makapile originally went to the Mankweng Hospital but was transferred to the George Mukhari Hospital because she needed high care not available at Mankweng.
Makapila, when interviewed by a newspaper, said, “These are hard times. Instead of celebrating their birth, I am faced with unanswered questions. I don't know what to say, but I leave all in the hands of the Lord who knows the answers.”
She said only God knew what He was doing and was the only one who could give answers about what would happen to the children because “I will be 57 years of age when they reach the age of 10”.
In the meantime, she has given her four babies a remarkable set of Tshi-Venda names that form a sentence: Their names are:
- Rudzani (Ask),
- Thama (the Lord),
- Adivhau (who knows),
- Khonadzeo (all the answers or what is possible).
The arrival of the babies has excited not only the hospital staff but the medical world at large.
It was the first time in the history of the George Mukhari hospital that quadruplets were born there. The multiple birth was all the more remarkable because Makapile had not been having any kind of fertility treatment.
Her only other child is a girl now 32 years old and married, who has four children – Makapile's grandchildren. The birth means not only a 32-year gap between her first-born and her “laat-lammetjies”, but also the fact that her grandchildren are older than most of her own children.
Makapile works for the Department of Agriculture in Venda and still looks after her mother.
For someone at the age of 47 to give birth to quads is so rare it’s just plain astounding.