OLD age has taken its toll on 97-year-old Mumtaz Ali.
Indeed the great great-grandfather cannot remember exactly how old he is but he says simply that he is over 97 years old.
But one thing the years have not taken away from him and his 94-year-old wife Amina Bi are the feelings of patriotism and hope they have for Fiji and her future.
The pair, were married when they were 16 and 13 years old, respectively, and were blessed with nine children — three sons and six daughters.
Mr Ali explained how all he wanted to see was unity between all races in Fiji — that being his only wish as Fiji celebrates its independence day today.
Speaking at his home in nine miles Nasinu yesterday, through an interpreter, he said he had seen many things during his life explaining that he had lived through good and bad times.
"Back in those times, the government was very good, there was less crime then.
"I only want to see my country do well and for everything to be good with us. I would like to see more improvement in hospitals as my wife and I are at the stage now where we need treatment in hospitals."
He added that he considered himself a part of the country saying that he was born here and would die here.