Jubilation as union adopts dance group

The South African Police Union shop steward Nonzukiso Mlungwana and parent Hlubikazi Hlangwana discussing the way forward.

Wearing a uniform or group colours instils a sense of pride in those who wear these – and that was evident when the South African Police Union (SAPU) handed over tracksuits to Buyelekhaya Community Development Dance group on Thursday October 5.

Sapu met the group at a function in Gugulethu in May this year and was touched by their talents.

Sapu spokeswoman Nonzukiso Mlungwana said the group had been recognised and “adopted” by the union.

At the May event, she said, they felt the group had charged them too little for their services, so they asked what else they could contribute to the group.

“We then wanted to know what else they want. All they asked for were tracksuits. But we had to speak to the national office and we were told to adopt them on the spot,” she said.

“We agreed to buy them tracksuits, but also to look after their school needs like uniforms and stationery. Today we are here to keep that promise and we brought the tracksuits.”

Ms Mlungwana thanked the group for keeping themselves busy instead of roaming the streets.

She said the union was proud to have young people who were serious about what they were doing.

“We will make it our task to see to it that every dancer has the opportunity to be at school. This is our future, so as the union we have an obligation to nurture it. We will provide sanitary pads, stationery and some of their needs. We want to see them learning.”

Founder and group leader, Vuyokazi Sihele, said she was excited about the donation. “I don’t know what to say, but I am over excited. This is part of the achievement for me and the kids. I keep children here so they can be something in life. I love children and I would not like to see them go astray. If I had the money, I would pay them for what we are doing. But this present of tracksuits will keep them intact. This will serve as an inspiration to all of us, including their parents,” she said.

The group has promised to continue to inspire other young people.

Parent Hlubikazi Hlangwana commended Ms Sihele for her passion for traditional dance and for keeping the children off the streets. “She serves this community well. These children are saved under her. We are truly grateful to have her around here.

“As parents, we are happy when we see people supporting her. We want to thank Sapu for adopting them, and we hope many of their dreams will now be fulfilled,” she said.

Ms Hlangwana appealed to children to remain with the group.