a special day FOR anastina

Eighty-four-year-old Anastina Ditsi has been leading a lonely existence filled with sadness and illness at the Soweto Old Age Home.

But a little light came into her life last Thursday when Bula Music organised a belated birthday party for pensioners celebrating their special day between January and April.

Bula Music represents musicians such as Sechaba, M Siya and maskandi artist Somnandi.

Most of Ditsi's family members have passed away and remaining family members send herR1000 every three months.

Ditsi said her only grandchild betrayed her by "stealing" the house she called home for decades.

The visibly distressed Ditsi said her grandchild demanded the title deed of the property, after which she changed the ownership into her name.

The house is in Molapo, Soweto.

"God will deal with her. She no longer comes to see me but sends her child to give me the money and that is as much as I get to see of her."

Ditsi is tough for her age but she has been dealt several heavy blows.

A near-fatal stroke rendered the entire right side of her body paralysed. She is semi-blind and frail but Thursday's festivities presented her with an opportunity to forget all about her struggles.

M Siya said: "We feel that these kinds of celebrations should be done more often because it gives the pensioners a chance to release a happy hormone and rejuvenate themselves."

Sechaba said the event had given him a good opportunity to make "our gogos and mkhulus feel that they will always be important to our society".

The Soweto Old Age Home cares for 120 pensioners, most of whom have no family.

Social worker Nontombi Ntulwane-Nyathela made a plea to donors to help with clothes and blankets.

She said the winter was harsh on the pensioners' frail bodies resulted in a number of flu casualties.

Ntulwane-Nyathela called on the youth to come and volunteer at the centre.

Ditsi thanked the organisers for the event, which she called "a very special day for me and all pensioners".