OLDER PERSONS SPEAK UP

While Mr Norman Mogiba, 67 from Mpumalanga’s Kabokeni said he wished meetings like these should be regular to ensure that elderly people feel recognised and be distracted from focusing on their personal stressors. “Such events help us heal mentally and spiritually” he said.
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By Centie Ngubane

  • Government Engagement and Advocacy: Mr Bright Mdaka, a pensioner from Mpumalanga, expressed appreciation for government efforts towards older persons but stressed the need for stronger commitment to conducting awareness campaigns on their rights, advocating for better education and awareness to reduce instances of abuse and violation of older persons’ rights.
  • Community Engagement and Healing: Mr Norman Mogiba, another elderly individual from Mpumalanga, highlighted the importance of regular meetings like the Dialogue at Hoerskool Nelspruit to make older persons feel recognised and provide a distraction from personal stressors, emphasizing the mental and spiritual healing such events offer.
  • Cultural Preservation and Family Dynamics: Mr Mogiba lamented the decline of traditional storytelling due to the influence of social media and television, attributing it to the rise in crime and disrespect among young people. He underscored the importance of storytelling in instilling discipline, morality, and culture in younger generations.

While the Dialogue was taking place at the Hoerskool Nelspruit Hall, conversations were taking place with older persons from various Provinces.

In a conversation with Mr Bright Mdaka, 63 of Schoemansdal, in Mpumalanga’s Ehlanzeni was very vocal about his appreciation of what government is doing for Older Persons, However, Mr Mdaka felt that more still needs to be done to ensure that government departments across should strongly commit to conducting awareness campaigns around the rights of older persons.

Mr Mdaka, as a pensioner is involved with Church related programmes additional to his role as additional member of the Provincial Older Persons’ Forum.

“The education and awareness on the health conditions of older persons should be taken serious to reduce incidences where older person is abused and violated,” said Mr Mdaka.

While Mr Norman Mogiba, 67 from Mpumalanga’s Kabokeni said he wished meetings like these should be regular to ensure that elderly people feel recognised and be distracted from focusing on their personal stressors. “Such events help us heal mentally and spiritually” he said.

“Did you listen to the song rendered by the KwaZulu Natal Traditional Choir? these songs are healing and inspiring and remind us of days of old.

Mr Mogiba is a proud father of two sons aged 34 and 32 believes that social media and TV’s have taken away the opportunity for older persons to do story telling to their grandchildren, and says that is why there is crime and complete disrespect amongst young people.

“Story telling was an important tool towards instilling discipline, morality and culture” concluded Mr Mogiba.

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