Valentines lunch for the Gogos & Mkhulus

Remembering the forgotten community.

Caring for our seniors is perhaps the greatest responsibility we have. Those who walked before us, have given so much and made possible the life we all enjoy. Those are the words by US senator John Hoeven and his words are as profound today as they were back then. According to Lenore Manderson, in South Africa neither the state nor the private sector consistently takes care of senior citizens living in aspirational communities. The onus is therefore on the family or household members to provide personal care to their loved ones.

It is rare, if any, to see companies or governments taking initiative to take care of this forgotten population. The irony is, many people in the country were raised by their grandparents. For context: Nearly 4 million children were in the care of their grandparents. The number is alarmingly increasing according to the South African Journal of child education. With that in mind, it is thought provoking that we have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and yet, no Grandparent’s Day. 

This was the thinking here at TooMuchWifi when our team took to Masiphumelele formerly known as site 5. The community is roughly 38 kilometers away from Cape Town CBD. TooMuchWifi Community Activations Manager, Mzukisi Mpingose says, there are many events that the company does. They mainly cater for children and young people. Now, we’ve decided to also focus on senior citizens. “We thought it is Valentine’s Day lets cater for the seniors”. That’s how nonchalant he was when enquired about what sparked this idea. 

Elders need caring as well.

Born and raised in Gugulethu, Mpingose has seen firsthand the experiences seniors go through. Others are forced to work and not retire because they have to raise their grandchildren. The idea he says was to give them a day of peace and tranquility. Where they can forget about their problems and situations even if it is just for a couple of hours. Seeing the happiness on those matured faces was worth all the blood and sweat it took to make that event possible said Mpingose.

The event dubbed Valentines with the Gogo’s and Mkhulus took place on the 17th of February on Saturday morning. Just three days after Valentine’s Day. Seniors from all over the community came in numbers to take advantage of this rare occasion, where they could be treated to what the youth call TLC: Tender Loving Care. From the organizing side, it was not that difficult to get the message across according to Mpingose because the majority of people come from the Yizani sibonisane senior club. Yes, the Gogos and Mkhulu have their own societal club.

Collaboration is key.

TooMuchWifi did not pull off this plethora of an event alone, the Mama Black foundation also based at Masiphumelele was instrumental in putting the event together. Some members of the LGBTQI+ community volunteered to cook food for the Gogos and Mkhulus. 

This does not come as a surprise because the ISP company supports many initiatives in the community such as the LGBTQI+ organisation Mama black and the neighborhood watch just to name a few. Staying true to its mandate of being from the community, for the community and in the community.

Masiphumelele which directly translates to let’s succeed is one of the areas that TooMuchWifi has meaningful relationships with. The company supports and host a lot of events in the area such as this one but to find out more about our next adventure make sure to not miss our next blog.