Senior citizens honoured for their sterling work

Song and dance were part of the celebrations at the Kuyasa Library.

Khayelitsha libraries joined hands on Wednesday June 21 to honour senior citizens from around the area for the role they play in society.

More than 200 seniors attended the event.

The seniors were praised for reviving cultural activities such as dance, beading, reading, and for learning computer skills, taking part in sports and their fight against poverty.

Representatives of the Department of Sports and Recreation attended, as well as staff of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) who cautioned seniors against certain scams and urged them to plant trees at their homes.

The libraries pledged to support the seniors and help improve their lives through making books and the internet available to them.

They also urged people to care for senior citizens as they were a vulnerable group.

Kuyasa librarian Lungelwa Ciliba hailed the elderly for their role in the development of libraries and the country.

“These golden oldies are part of our lives at these libraries. They are card-carrying members who constantly come to read and learn computer skills. Besides reading, they are able to share their stories with us. We are learning a lot from them.

“We know it is not easy for them to learn (to use) computers at their age but they try.

“That is why we felt we need to celebrate them while they are still alive and tell them that we care and love them,” she said.

Nomonde Sotshononda, from Masakhane library, said the elderly were “our responsibility now”.

“We need to look after them as they did when we were young.

“We are what we are because of them,” she said.

She called for more activities for elderly people to help them keep fit and strong and said seniors should not be sitting at home with nothing to do.

But, she commended their involvement with libraries.

“They come to libraries to do a range of things and activities.

“The commitment they showed is out of this world.

“Today we are here to value them more,” she said.

Senior citizen, Nomandlawenkosi Dluthu, thanked the organisers of the event, saying that the elderly were often only praised after they had passed on. She said the celebrations showed to them how important they were. The day was made possible by Khayelitsha library in Site B, Kuyasa library, the Nazeema Isaacs library in Makhaza, Kulani library, the Moses Mabhida library in Site C, and Harare library.