Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Remembering the Elderly

© Ernest Mackina Photography 2013
 The legitimation of any society is confirmed by the presence of the elderly. It is said that “indlela ibuzwa kwabaphambili” which loosely means, the path is asked by those ahead. 
© Ernest Mackina Photography 2013
In this journey of life, the elderly are important as they inform a society of known and unknown norms and values. 

© Ernest Mackina Photography 2013
© Ernest Mackina Photography 2013
They are mobile libraries and in an African setting, they carry repositories of knowledge, as their lives are decorated with a massive wealth of experiences.

It is saddening however that, with all this at hand, the elderly have been forgotten and placed in old people’s homes, with their memories receding into oblivion. 







Despite this somber reality, the Rotaract Club of Matopos witnessed first hand, the joy possessed by the smiles of the octogenarian and nonagenarians at the Ekuphumuleni Geriatric Nursing Home in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.



During the clubs visit to the humbling home, they were introduced to a centurion  whose sharp mind recalled her exact date of birth. 

She exclaimed in a clever tone “ I was born in 1907”. 

The club arrived at the home on a sunny bright morning, armed with blankets, detergents and foodstuffs they had sourced from their own coffers and assistance from well-wishers, a short proceeding took place as there was an a Capella group that performed their piece of beautiful music that ministered to the grandparents.


Immediate Past President Thandi Bhanda took to the floor and vibrantly kept the elderly entertained through a series of jokes and comical acts. 

She then gave out goodies, much to the delight of the geriatrics whose faces lit up in pleasure. 

She then opened the floor for the club to engage in dialogue with the wise residents. It was a bittersweet experience for some, as tears of happiness and touched hearts rued the atmosphere. 

Amongst the participants was a certain Tapiwa Kupfuwa, who disclosed discontent at how the world had become disconnected with their own grand folk. Everyone scrounged to have an image taken with the centurian. The official handover of the donations was done and a vote of thanks was given.

Visiting the elderly is very essential and helps them overcome loneliness. It also helps them remember that they are not alone, and brings joy to their hearts. 

A mere half an hour of your time, is enough to show a gesture of love, whether you have a relative or not in an old peoples home.

They should not be ignored, but rather attended to, loved and given adequate attention. 

The older generation holds significant value to the generation as they can share through conversation and fellowship a wealth of tacit knowledge.





© Ernest Mackina Photography 2013

© Ernest Mackina Photography 2013

© Ernest Mackina Photography 2013

© Ernest Mackina Photography 2013

© Ernest Mackina Photography 2013


© Ernest Mackina Photography 2013

© Ernest Mackina Photography 2013
Rotaract is a service club dedicated towards assisting those less privileged in society. They can be contacted on their site "Rotaract Club of Matopos" and on their Facebook Page “Rotaract Club of Matopos”. Find them on Twitter @MatoposOfRotaract: and join them in their pledge of “Service above Self”