Brief escape from harsh realities

2019-08-20 06:01
Seniors at a Women’s Day event held in Heideveld. PHOTO: SIPHESIHLE NOTWABAZA

Seniors at a Women’s Day event held in Heideveld. PHOTO: SIPHESIHLE NOTWABAZA

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A group of residents was given the chance to relax and take a break from their everyday worries in celebration of women.

Women and a few men from surrounding areas attended an inaugural Women’s Day event at the Institute of Shari’ah Studies centre in Heideveld on Saturday 10 August.

The event was organised by the Manenberg and Heideveld Community Building Team (MHCBT).

MHCBT is a non-profit organisation (NPO) launched in 2018 after realising the need for an organisation to rescue youth from a life of drugs and gangsterism.

The organisation facilitates community events and activities aimed at keeping youth and parents occupied and away from the lure of drugs.

The intimate event, hosted by the NPO, treated senior women and men to a meal and entertainment provided by a local dance group.

A few community speakers also gave motivational talks.

Chairperson for the NPO Moegamat Allie Mansoor says the event aims to give back to adults, especially women.

It also seeks to show appreciation for the wonderful work they do at home with their grandchildren, he adds.

He says there isn’t anything political behind or a deeper meaning attached to the event, it is simply a means to celebrate women and the role they play in their families and the community.

“They should have a sense of there is a person in the community who cares about them,” he says.

Also in attendance was Ebrahim Joseph, the principal at Easter Peak Primary School, a school in the area.

He says it is important for local schools to be involved in the activities in the area.

According to him, the majority of learners who attend his school are looked after by grandparents. These grandparents are the same ones attending the event.

He says he was there to motivate and thank them for the work they do in raising and guiding their grandchildren.

“When we send letters to invite parents to the school, it is always the grandparents who show up.

“We saw it fit that I attend the event to let them know how important they are in the education of their grandchildren,” Joseph explains.

He says there is a huge drop-out rate in Grade 7. The event is another opportunity for him to ask grandmothers to motivate their grandchildren to finish school.

“We need to encourage them to stay in school because there are a lot more opportunities for them now than there were when we were their age,” he explains.

Enjoying the event were Angela Davids, Dora Figland and Frances November. They are all Heideveld residents.

They say they appreciate the gesture by MHCBT.

According to them, the event helps them to catch up and to forget about the stress their grandchildren place them under.

“My heart is sore, disciplining children these days is hard. Our grandchildren do not appreciate what we do for them. So we are here today to have fun and to be free,” says Davids.

She also complains about shootings and gangs in their neighbourhood. Something, she says, that gives them nightmares.

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