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Minister: Susan Shabangu
Deputy Minister: Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu
Deputy Minister
iconDSD Customer Care Charter iconStudy Report on Children's access to Social Insurance Benefits
AGE AIN’T NOTHING BUT A NUMBER! Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 October 2018

Mangaung- Free State: “Ku guga othandayo”, a local song which loosely translates to “only those who want to, age” and was made popular by the local music group Mafikizolo, reverberated throughout Dr Rantlai Petrus Molemela Stadium in Mangaung today on the second day of the 2018 National Golden Games, which is part of the Active Ageing Programme.

The agility, speed and energy of the older persons (60 and over) who participated in various sporting activities, including athletics, soccer and brisk walk will put most young people, who were part of the spectators cheering them on to shame.

The Active Ageing Programme promotes healthy lifestyle by providing an opportunity for older persons to participate in sporting and cultural activities with their peers. In its 11th year, the programme has grown in popularity amongst older persons.

Ms Mandiba Lokia is a 73-year-old athlete from Vhembe, Limpopo who participates almost all year-round after she first started participating in the Active Ageing Programme since its inception in 2008.

Before Ms Lokia got involved in the active ageing programme, she had some doubts as she comes from a rural traditional community where women’s participation in sport activities, particularly at the ripe age of 60 years and above was unheard of. She quickly got hooked to the active ageing programme, not only because of its health benefits for people of her age, but also the many opportunities it offers to socialise with her peers.

“At first, we were sceptical about participating in this programme, not only because of our age as most of us are grandparents, but also because of gender and cultural stereotypes. Not only have we broken those stereotypes, but we are slowly changing negative perceptions about ageing through the active ageing programme”, said Ms Lokia.

Another athlete who would have definitely given the reigning 800 metres world champion sensation Caster Semenya a serious run for her money had she been of the same age is Ms Gugu Zondi, a 67-year old retired teacher from Madadeni, KwaZulu-Natal. She ran the 800 metres track non-stop in a time of 5: 34: 13 minutes.

Ms Zondi mentioned that she has always been a fitness fanatic as she discovered during her teenage years that her family has a history of non-communicable diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

“I adopted the healthy lifestyle habit in my teenage years. It has since become integral part of my life as it is good for my body and mind, plus it keeps diseases like diabetes which runs in family out of my way.

As part of her healthy lifestyle regime, Ms Zondi runs five kilometres every day. She advised that people shouldn’t wait until they reach old age to start active ageing.

The Active Ageing Programme is currently underway at Dr Rantlai Petrus Molemela Stadium, Mangaung and is scheduled to end on Friday, 26 October 2018 with the National Older Persons Parliament.

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