Senior citizens are up to the task

2015-10-08 06:00
Nontsikelelo Mduba, 67 and Anderson Tyandela, 75, members of Kwamonwabisi senior club, in Khayelitsha, attended the commemoration of the International Day of Older Persons, 01 October, on Thursday, in Sea Point.


PHOTOS: 
mbongiseni Maseko

Nontsikelelo Mduba, 67 and Anderson Tyandela, 75, members of Kwamonwabisi senior club, in Khayelitsha, attended the commemoration of the International Day of Older Persons, 01 October, on Thursday, in Sea Point. PHOTOS: mbongiseni Maseko

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Pensioners in Khayelitsha are pulling-out all stops and discarding all thought of sitting idly because of their age.

They have resolved to be in business.

Gogo Nontsikelelo Mduba,67, and madala Anderson Tyandela, 75, are members of Kwamonwabisi Seniors Club, which is under the auspices of the Neighbourhood Old Age Homes (Noah).

They say they use their gatherings to engage in business opportunities.

Mduba and Tyandela spoke to City Vision during the International Day of Older Persons, which was organised by Sector Task Team of Older Persons (STTOP) in Sea Point, on Thursday.

The duo was part of members from different senior clubs who were invited to the event as ambassadors.

Mduba said their club, based in Z Section, runs successful projects that help them generate income.

Among other things they do is by recycling used pieces of soap from hotels and sell them.

They also crouch, make beads, cultivate a garden and sell the vegetables. Eight of their members have recently undergone training in baking, and they also sell clothes they get from Clothing Bank and keep 70 percent of the money generated from the sales.

“Last year we sold the soap to Canada. We no longer buy bread from a shop for our kitchen, we bake it ourselves and we also sell the bread and generate income. We are currently harvesting and selling our vegetables. It is a very nice that we do not just gather there and do nothing,” she added.

The senior citizens also organise concerts four times a year where they compete among each other by singing the songs they used to sing when they were still young.

Tyandela recently organised a prayer meeting for social-ills in the area which include rape, alcohol abuse, gangsterism and domestic violence.

“I am so proud to be part of this club. I could not bake before, but now I have a certificate in baking and I have already started selling my cakes. I can bake anything now,” Tyandela said.

Jane Mills, STTOP external relations manager, said the day is good to highlight the needs of elder persons.

Mills said other senior citizens are not frail and they can still do many things independently.

“This campaign is about enhancing the status of older persons in Cape Town and its surrounds and getting the public and other influential individuals to think about their own ageing differently.

To be in a certain age does not mean they have to just sit at home or be at their senior clubs.

Some of them are still active and they can do many things without help.

The senior citizens are doing great things for their clubs and for themselves.

The day also talks to the rights of elder persons,” she added.

According to the STTOP Pro-Age team, South Africa’s economy has been shaped by pensioners’ past contributions and they deserve to be treated as equals, with dignity and respect

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