Sixty years ago, more than 20 000 South African women of all races staged a march in protest against the “pass laws”. This display of female solidarity and inner fortitude led the country forward and is celebrated each year during the month of August.
For 30 minutes, on the 9th of August 1956, these women stood silently before singing a protest song, Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.
In celebration of the universal rock-solid spirit of women empowerment, the Jeeva Foundation - committed to philanthropy and charitable work - hosted a Women’s Month event in Uitenhage.
“We paid homage to the real pillars of our communities and of our families. Our very brave mothers, grandmothers and sisters who are now in the golden age of their lives,” said Munir Jeeva, of Jeeva Foundation and CEO of Afri-Save.
This year the Jeeva Foundation has selected Makukhanye, a non-government service centre for senior citizens in KwaNobuhle, Despatch and Rosedale, as beneficiary for its Women’s Month celebrations.
“I can tell you a woman sleeps fewer hours than a man. When she hears a cry, she will get up, because that is what a woman does,” said Nomvano Mhlambiso from Makukhanye Service Centre.
“A woman’s sixth sense is like being super-minded. Women sense emotional things and often are right. They have a big stick that they rely on, prayer, every day.”
Linda Mgwali, chairlady of the Makukhanye Service Centre said, “We feel honoured, as this is very special to us being treated in this way.”
The centre consists of 225 members from KwaNobuhle, Despatch and Rosedale. They get-together thrice a week from 09:00 to 15:00 where they start off with some physical exercise which is followed by various types of handwork, arts and crafts.
“Our biggest challenge is to get a venue where we can gather. Currently the women get-together at various homes or we have to rent a hall. Houses are too small and halls too expensive. So we really need the blessings of a venue for the elderly,” said Mgwali.
Makukhanye’s co-ordinator, Felicity Sididi, said another problem the centre has to deal with is not having transport to get to different venues.
At the event, the Jeeva Foundation provided the women with groceries and electric heaters.