Music remains a soothing food for the soul MEC Siphokazi Lusithi

Nelson Mandela University arena came alive with song and dance as Senior citizens across all nine Provinces gathered to celebrate the annual National Golden Games Choir Festival.

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality joined forces with the Eastern Cape Social Development to host this year’s 25th prestigious ceremony at the home of former South African president and Nobel Prize winner, Nelson ‘Rolihlahla’ Mandela, Eastern Cape, under the banner ‘Older Persons Moving South Africa Forward’ whilst also acknowledging that #60PlusMatters

Singing melodic tunes and dancing in harmony with the Oldies was Deputy Minister for Social Development Henrietta Bogape-Zulu, MEC for Social Development in the Eastern Cape Siphokazi Lusithi, HOD for Gauteng Department of Social Development Thembeni Mhlongo, Councillors and members of the Older Persons Forum.

The Older Persons Act 13 of 2006 places emphasis on the rights of Older Persons and active ageing is one of the key programmes which is based on the approach and recognition of human rights whilst realizing the importance of independence, participation, dignity, care and self-fulfillment of Older Persons.

Deputy Minister Bogape-Zulu reiterated that the National Golden Games were adopted as a vehicle to promote the active ageing programme and are part of the implementation of the 2002 Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing as well as other pieces of legislation that impact on the well-being of Older Persons.

‘Older people are the custodian of knowledge and wisdom therefore it is important that you teach the young generation lyrics of songs so that they should resonate and relate with their lives in order to give them proper meaning’ said Bogape-Zulu giving her keynote address.

MEC for Eastern Cape Social Development Siphokazi Lusithi reiterated the importance of music in society ‘We sing when we are happy, we sing when we are sad, we sing when there is a funeral, we sing when there is a birth, we sing whenever there is an occasion because music remains a soothing food for the soul’.

The Games were initially initiated in the Western Cape by the Department of Social Development in 2006 and were branded as a reputable active ageing programme with the objectives of enhancing and improving the quality of life of Older Persons whilst embracing them to age actively.

Source: Gauteng Province