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​Political leaders of the City of Johannesburg converged on Alexandra to pay homage to the township’s senior citizens as part of Heritage Month celebrations. Leading the City’s delegation that interacted with senior citizens at Altrec Centre in Alex on 22 September 2022, the Chair of Community Development’s Section 79 Committee, Cllr Nonhlanhla Sifumba, urged the elderly folks to never tire of sharing their wisdom with the youth.

Cllr Sifumba encouraged the elderly to pass down traditions that instill respect and discipline in communities. She also urged the elderly to encourage the youth to participate in arts and culture, and use the City’s facilities to nature their talents. 

Through the Department of Community Development, the City of Joburg has various arts, culture and sports programmes that young people can participate in, she added.

Altrec Centre was a buzz of activity as poetry, singing and traditional dancing echoed throughout the venue. Gogos in their traditional clothes clapped, danced and reminisced about a time when heritage formed part of their daily lives. 

“Most of today’s youth have lost their traditions and don’t understand the importance of heritage,” lamented Gogo Dlamini.

Cllr Sifumba said over the years, Alexandra township has been a melting pot of diversity and has welcomed all ethnic groups from the rest of South Africa. 

Some of South Africa’s most interesting people who once stayed in the township include the late trumpeter and human rights activist Hugh Masekela, fellow musician Caiphus Semenya, Orlando Pirates chair Irvin Khoza, former first lady Zanele Dlamini Mbeki and ex-Kaizer Chiefs goalie Brian Baloyi. 

Written by Ayanda Radebe