By Adele van der Linde

  • Despite the initial inconvenience caused by rain during the Active Ageing activities in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, participants reflected on the cultural significance of rainfall and its impact on their experiences.
  • Gwen Mothiba, representing Team Northwest, highlighted how rain exacerbated her arthritis but acknowledged the broader importance of rainfall despite the challenges it posed.
  • Participants like Isaac Masethe from Team Limpopo remained resilient and prepared for any weather conditions, emphasising their readiness to engage in the programme regardless of rain or shine.

“Rain, rain go away, come again another day! – that’s the silly little rhyme we used to sing as children when any kind of precipitation seemed set to spoil our planned outdoor activities. Just one sentence with an exclamation mark. No additional verses. A taunting chant wishing away something nearly impossible to predict precisely or to send away, for that matter.

When a persistent drizzle started on day one of the Active Ageing activities in Mbombela, Mpumalanga and with more rain predicted for the following day, this little song came to my mind. What complex creatures we are, praying for much-needed rain but wishing it away when it finally comes at a time when we prefer a sunny day! Please don’t let me be misunderstood. Rain is not unwelcome at all, but in a country where we enjoy our outdoor activities, it can sometimes put a literal damper on our plans. The farming industry, for one, always struggles with the complexity of dry spells versus rain at the right time and in the right amounts.

However, rain means blessings in many cultures. Our older persons being the custodians of our diverse cultures and heritage, were therefore the most befitting to comment on whether rain is a welcome sight or nuisance during the two-day Active Ageing programme. 

Gwen Mothiba, from Team Northwest, told DSDNews that it was her first time attending the National Active Ageing programme and that she had been looking forward to it. “But I have a little bit of arthritis in my legs and the rain makes it worse. We also need to go up and down in the rain to get to venues and we are getting wet. But I am happy to be here and we still need the rain!”, she continued.   

Isaac Masethe from Team Limpopo was certain that there would be no rain on day two of the Programme, when he was set to compete in the 400m. “If it rains, or it’s cold or the sun is shining, we are ready!”

“I won’t commit myself to two days’ rain”, said Mokgomatse Matseke from Team Gauteng, “because the One who is in charge of the weather can stop it at any time before the end of the day. But if it has to rain for two days, the Golden Games will be spoiled because we won’t be able to participate in all the sporting codes. I personally am a chorister, but it will be bad if those participating outdoors can not come out and take part.”

And just like that, the rain subsided for the morning.   

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