More than 200 seniors enjoyed a treat last week when the City’s social development and early childhood development directorate held a party for them.
The event, funded through a ward allocation, was held at the Joe Slovo Community Hall on Thursday April 6.
Nomfundo Mdingi, head of of the directorate’s western district, said it was appropriate that the party was happening in the “forgotten areas” of Joe Slovo and Phoenix, where residents were much in need of upliftment.
“I am an ambassador of the City and this (area) is the City’s responsibility, but it’s a two-way street. As residents, we both share the responsibility of also looking after our area,” she told the seniors, gathered around tables in the hall.
Linda Nabe, a motivational speaker, urged the residents to take her cue and not regard themselves as seniors. “I am 65, but ageing means never allowing anyone to say you are old. You’re just mature.”
Talking about her own challenges, she said, “I was unemployed but got up every day and washed and made as if I was going to work. I made my environment clean. I said to myself I am not trapped in my situation and I am not poor.”
She urged the audience to think of life like music. “Think that it has its high notes and it has low notes. But today is a day for you to be happy and believe in yourselves.”
Funghai Mudhuma, from Age in Action, cautioned the seniors about abuse. Physical and emotional abuse affected many in the area, but, in most cases, was tragically not reported.
“Know your rights and make the authorities aware of them.”
She also told the pensioners never to sign any documents unless they were aware of what they were signing, in view of many children “stealing” their parents pensions.
“There are social workers who can help you understand your papers,” she said.
She also told elderly parents living with their children not to let themselves be forced into living in an old-age home.
“Don’t be pushed so that your children can have the house to themselves.”
The speeches over, the seniors were treated to a dance performance and received gift packs and lunch.