Celebrating the elderly

Elderly people from House of Happiness service centre in Nemato were given a special treat on Tuesday as they were celebrated, provided with snacks and given helpful information by the department of social development.

Some of the elderly celebrated by chanting in Xhosa songs and dancing, and some even wrote imibongo (poems).

The event, organised by Ward 6 councillor Mkhululi Raco, was held at Titi Jonas Multipurpose Centre with social workers among those who were invited to give a talk to the elderly.

The elderly enjoyed eating chicken with rolls, cakes, sandwiches, and later on were equipped with information they need.

Nonezile Khonza addressed the audience, telling them about the different activities they do at House of Happiness and urging those who are not part of the service centre to join it.

“We do a lot at House of Happiness, we have gardens, we do beadwork, and we also train because we do a lot of indigenous games. We also play soccer we sometimes travel to Grahamstown to compete against other teams and it’s always fun,” Khonza said.

One of the social workers from the Port Alfred social development offices, Sandiswa Mlamla-Feni, touched on the issue of abuse of the elderly.

“I work mostly with elderly people and I want us as the community of Port Alfred to work together and fight elderly abuse that is becoming a huge problem in our communities. We need to put an end to it,” she said.

“We often see in the news how the elderly are neglected, not taken care of, how they are burnt to death in other communities because they are suspected or often accused of being witches.

“Today I am here to address that if you are a victim of any type of abuse do not keep quiet about address it, go to places such as House of Happiness tell them. Whether you are neglected, abused sexually, or maybe there are people at home who take your grant money. Let us work together to get rid of these social ill that have somehow become, norms for others” Mlamla-Feni said.

Raco said that the reason they chose to focus on the elderly is because they are overlooked in the community.

“Old people really need to be taken care of and loved. We are always busy, we don’t give them time and just sit down to listen to them. So today we decide to celebrate them the Madiba way, giving them the time and the attention that they need,” Raco said.

BY NTOMBENTSHA MSUTU

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