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Minister: Susan Shabangu
Deputy Minister: Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu
Deputy Minister
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OLDER PERSONS CULTURAL PROGRAMME SHOWCASES SOUTH AFRICA’S HERITAGE AND DIVERSITY Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Mangaung, Free State: Older persons across nine provinces came together to proudly celebrate South Africa’s rich cultural heritage and diversity thorough music and dance.  From the colourful Cape Malay minstrels to the deeply-entrenched traditional Zulu dance of indlamu and the indigenous Xibelani dance of the Tsonga tribe, older persons came out to proudly showcase their identity and reaffirm South Africa as a cultural melting pot.

Not only was the Older Persons Cultural Programme a great place for older persons to come and interact with their peers and showcase their proud cultural heritage, but it gave the choirs a chance to get together in a unified, non-competitive choir festival that created lasting bonds with older persons from other provinces.

Older persons came out in full force to make the 2018 Older Persons Cultural Programme memorable and raised the bar even higher. The energy, large and enthusiastic crowds, and the smiles on the faces of audience were evidence of the overwhelming popularity of this event.

The Older Persons Choir Festival is part of the annual Active Ageing Programme, an initiative of the Department of Social Development that seeks to promote the positive image of ageing through older persons’ participation in various sporting and cultural activities. The goal of the Active Ageing Programme is to promote the participation of older persons in healthy and active ageing initiatives that seeks to prevent or reduce old-age related burden of diseases.

One of the participants in this year’s choir festival is 63-year-old Ms Lungile Diamond from Gugulethu, Western Cape. After working for many years as a factory worker in the textile industry in Cape Town, Ms Diamond said she discovered her passion for choral music by chance when she joined the senior citizens choir in her township. Now she says not even her disability and failing voice due to advancing age cannot stop her from showcasing her God-given talent.

“Music, especially choral music, is very therapeutic for people of my age. I am retired from work but I will not retire from singing and showcasing my rich Xhosa heritage through the senior citizens choir. I will sing my way to the grave,” said Ms Diamond.

Speaking during the official opening of the Older Persons Choir Festival, Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu mentioned that this year’s festival is dedicated to the memory of Mama Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu who championed the human rights of all people, including older persons.

She further commended the role played by older persons and organisations representing them in the development and adoption of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Older Persons. The Active Ageing Programme is scheduled to run from 22-26 October 2018.

The remainder of the Active Ageing Programme is as follows:

NATIONAL GOLDEN GAMES

Date: Wednesday and Thursday, 24- 25 October 2017

Time: 08h00-16h00

Venue: Dr Rantlai Petrus Molemela Stadium, Bloemfontein, Free State Province

NATIONAL OLDER PERSONS PARLIAMENT

Date: Friday, 26 October 2017

Time: 08h00-14h00

Venue: Dr Rantlai Petrus Molemela Stadium, Bloemfontein, Free State Province

ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Media inquiries may be forwarded to Ms Lumka Oliphant on 083 484 8067 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it