IT was a day of celebration and jubilation as the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust hosted its annual Gogo of the Year event on Friday 20 November, to highlight the achievements of the grandmothers and their support groups.
More than 600 grandmothers gathered in their finest traditional garb at the Bambanani Hall in KwaNyuswa on Friday, all eagerly anticipating the day’s events. The day was opened in prayer, song and dance, with the First Lady of Durban, Busi Nxumalo and the First Lady of KZN, Thembeka Mchunu taking to the stage. Both First Ladies gave their testimonials and words of encouragement to the grandmothers, and the Gogo of the Year pageant began soon after.
Twenty grandmothers were given a chance to impress the judges with their hand-made traditional outfits as well as inform them of the work they have done for, and with their respective Granny Support Groups. Lahlawe Khumalo was named the Gogo of the Year 2015 and was overcome with emotion when she received a R1000 food gift voucher as a prize.
“I started the Granny Support Groups in 2006 and we started off small. I never knew it would become this big. We now have 51 Granny Support Groups throughout the Valley of 1000 Hills which empower the grandmothers to become independent rather than depending on the government or outside sources to help them reach that goal,” said Cwengi Myeni, Granny Support Groups manager.
The winner of the Granny Support Group of the Year was announced after the individual competition, and Regina Dladla, head of the Khuthalani Club, accepted the Mavis Ngema Floating Trophy on behalf of her group.
“The amount of work that this group does is why we chose them as the winners. They have started new business enterprises and won’t let anything stand in their way. While they work to create an income for themselves, this work is helping their surrounding community as well.
“They are a shining example of what we are hoping to achieve with the Granny Support Groups,” said Cwengi Myeni.
Cwengi thanked Stephen Lewis Foundation for sponsoring the event, Dalton Sugar for their contribution to event, and Gill Fraser for the three trophies she donated for the event.