Elders become ‘family’ at club

2019-10-03 06:00
Some of the members of Masincediswe Senior Club display their handwork. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Some of the members of Masincediswe Senior Club display their handwork. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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It’s love all around at the Masincediswe Senior Club in Khayelitsha, where elders emotionally support one another while their hands are kept busy.

The club invited senior citizens older than 60 who are sitting at home doing nothing, to come and join them.

The club, which currently has 39 members, was established in 2006 by unemployed women from I Section.

Masincediswe is one of the senior clubs that form part of the organisation Ikamvalabantu.

The women exercise together, knit, do beading work, sew, sing and read.

The co-founder of the club, Nokwazi Kalako (83), said they were originally about 10 members when they established the club.

“I went around the area from house to house trying to convince the elders to form a club where we can share our problems while keeping our hands busy. Initially we didn’t have a place to hold our meetings. We used to have our meetings from house to house,” said Kalako.

She said the membership increased as time went on. She said the club became part of Ikamvalabantu in 2011.

“Since we didn’t have our own place to hold our meetings we went to Ikamvalabantu to ask for assistance. That is how they ‘adopted’ us and we became part of them,” said Kalako

She described the club as a second home to them. “Here we are stress-free. We share everything. We are like a family.”

She said some of the members were depressed when they first joined the club, because of the things their children were doing to them. “Some of the members were left with their grandchildren for the whole weekend. Others were complaining that their children took their money to buy alcohol and drugs.”

Kalako added since they’ve become part of Ikamvalabantu, they have been able to get advice and refer them to the relevant organisation for help.

Club assistant Kholeka Lusithi urged family members to stop “locking their grannies inside the house” when they go to work.

“This is a safe place for elders. They can come and join us free of charge. They can join us from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 15:00. They also get breakfast and lunch,” said Lusithi, adding there is transport available that can pick them up at home and take them back too.

She added they organise day trips too and every November Ikamvalabantu takes them on an outing to the beach.

“There are various organisations that support and assist us. Some offer counselling while another provides them with their medication.”

An optometrist also visits them every three months to test the members’ eyesight.

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