The 100-year-old woman who fell from the sky


Georgina Harwood jumped off a plane to celebrate her hundredth birthday. Plummeting to earth at over 200 kilometres per hour with the wind rushing through her hair and bursts of adrenaline working through her body, she ticked off an activity many still hesitate over on their bucket lists. Skydiving is a thrilling celebration for any young adult. But for Harwood it was the culmination of a lifetime filled with adventure.

While the tandem jump made international headlines, it wasn’t her first fall from the clouds. She first conquered the skies at 92 and again at 97. Proving that you’re only as good as your last effort, she then plunged into the icy waters of the Atlantic Sea to dive among sharks. Not the average way for a granny to spend her afternoon. But Harwood has never played it safe. After starting university at just 16, she wasted no time in making the most of the outdoor experiences available to her, co-founding the University of Cape Town’s Mountain Club, now the UCT Mountain and Ski Club. Now in her golden years, she’s kept alive the spirit that invigorated her for more than a century.

Harwood has had plenty of time to reflect on her experiences, both extreme and everyday. “So much in life is pleasant,” she says. “I am more than ever pleased that I am part of South Africa today and have been for the last 100 years”. More than an inspiration to do what you’ve always wanted, Harwood’s antics will last beyond the initial thrill. Her birthday jump in support of a crowdfunding campaign for the National Sea Rescue Institute contributed to a supply of lifejackets for the safety of volunteers. As one of our oldest residents, she’s proof that you can go in search of your wildest dreams and still make a positive impact in the lives of others.

Footage from Skydive Cape Town was used in the creation of this film.