Hundreds of gogos (grannies) from communities across KZN’s Ethekwini District will celebrate women ageing graciously without fear at a sporting fest for Women’s Month to be held in Clermont this Friday (31 August 2018).
The event, which focuses on older women keeping healthy and standing up against violence and abuse, takes place from 8am to 3pm at Christianenburg Stadium, Clermont. Gogos from KwaNyuswa, Molweni, Inchanga, Mpumalanga (Hammarsdale), Ngcolosi and Savanna Park will take part and compete in sports such as soccer and netball. The event is an initiative of the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust (HACT) and rotates between the communities HACT serves.
40 grannnies from Thandanani Support Group are responsible this year for organising the event with logistical assistance from HACT’s Gogo Support Group Programme, eThekwini Municipality and the KZN Department of Sports and Recreation. Thandanani Support Group, based at St Boniface Lutheran Church in Clermont, is one of more than 58 support groups in KZN belonging to HACT’s Gogo Programme which works with over 2000 gogos, many of whom are the sole providers for their families.
“This is the first time we have hosted such a big event and we are excited and honoured to do so!” said Thandanini Gogo Group leader, Lindiwe September. “Older people need to keep fit and healthy, and they also struggle to talk about things like abuse because of stigma and fear so events like these events really help us. In our group we meet up once a week and talk about our struggles, like how to provide for our grandchildren. We also share fun, healthy activities like exercise and gardening so we don’t feel lonely. The oldest gogo in our group is 93 years and she is still very active!”
At the event, entertainment will be provided by local children including traditional dancing and solo singing. A keynote speech by guest speaker, Mrs Gcaba, will raise awareness of the importance of health and address key issues around abuse and violence. Mrs Gcaba has a background in professional nursing management, and is member of the congregation at St Boniface Lutheran Church. There will also be free massage and nail care pampering on offer to the gogos by volunteer therapists.
HACT’s Gogo Support Group Programme Manager, Sister Cwengi Myeni, works with gogos on a daily basis. She said, “We know that violence and abuse - past and present - are the real and traumatic experiences of many older women in our communities and beyond. Events like these celebrate the strength of older women and give them the motivation to keep themselves and their families healthy, as well as the confidence to speak out in solidarity against violence and abuse. By organising and hosting this event, Thandanini support group is showing just how strong, capable and independent older women can be.”
For more information about the event please contact the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 031 765 5866
Image Caption: Members of Thandanini gogo support group outside St Boniface Lutheran Church Hall in Clermont