'Every child needs happy memories'

JOHANNESBURG MAYOR Amos Masondo returned happily to his childhood when he hosted 1000 children at Kliprivier, south of Johannesburg, yesterday.

JOHANNESBURG MAYOR Amos Masondo returned happily to his childhood when he hosted 1000 children at Kliprivier, south of Johannesburg, yesterday.

He was joking, singing and reciting nursery rhymes with his little guests from all over the city at the yearly Every Child's Birthday Party which has been running for three years.

The children were from different cultural and social backgrounds.

"The occasion is symbolic and a pledge to the children. It is also to encourage the culture of giving in the city," Masondo said.

"Childhood is the best time in life. It is when the young and their imagination is let loose. Everyone remembers the day they first jumped into a river to swim, climbed the first tree, played in the rain, and their first day of school.

"These are invaluable memories and we will do whatever we can to make children happy. We are giving them a life-changing and transforming message that we are a community. "

The 2010 Fifa World Cup mascot Zakumi entertained the children with slinky dance moves along with other cartoon characters.

The youngsters told the mayor about their ambitions to be metro cops, doctors and teachers. One boy brought the house down when he said he was going to be a mayor.

"We want to encourage the children to look forward to being something. Before, people aspired to pass JC (junior certificate)," Masondo said.

"Today we are making progress. Some want to be pilots, engineers and sportsmen."

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