Pensioners and orphans treated to a very swell party
More than 2000 Alexandra residents flocked to a party organised for pensioners at Itlhokomeleng Care of the Aged Centre.
Mama Angel, with the help of Glenrick Pilchards, was one of the sponsors of the yearly Christmas party for pensioners and child-headed families. While the centre had catered for 1250 people, more than 2500 people came to celebrate.
Grandmothers brought their grandchildren along for a sumptuous meal complete with pudding and drinks.
"This party is wonderful. We have been treated well and we are now waiting for our Christmas hampers," said Selinah Mpisi, a veteran of the apartheid struggle.
Her friends, Martha Dlamini and Louisa Tshavasa, said they wanted a special party for veterans because they were only honoured when their coffins were carried shoulder-high on the way to the cemetery.
They all heaped praise on Marjorie Manganye, the founder of the centre and their hostess for the day. Manganye is fondly called the "Mother Teresa of Alexandra" because she does not turn away those in need of succour.
"We will not forget what MaManganye has done for us. She is an inspirational woman."
Music was provided by the Riverside trio of Dj blaq Cedrimentary, Twigga of Jika Majika, Thabiso and Black Spear.
They all volunteered to make the party a success. "The old people brought us up, also our mothers. We love them and we are grateful to them for our lives," said Twigga.
A freelance photographer was doing a roaring trade taking pictures of the grannies and their broods who were dressed to kill in their Sunday best.
"We spent the afternoon and evening making up the hampers. We were lucky this year to get food from many sponsors," said head of security Hlengiwe Khumalo..
"We were back here at 3am to peel vegetables and cook lunch. MaManganye, at 77, has kept pace with us. She is a remarkable woman."
Charlotte Kunene, the administrator of the centre, said the party tradition began in 1991 and that the staff looked forward to it.
"We enjoy our mothers and fathers. If you are stressed, they make you laugh and forget your problems. We organised the party for 1250 but the guests always bring their friends and grandchildren."