In celebration of Nelson Mandela Month on July 28th Mandela High’s Africa Unite School Club visited Ikhaya Loxolo, a home for the elderly in Gugulethu. This event was initiated by Mandela High learners in order to show respect for elders in their community. Learners served a delicious meal of chicken, rice, and salad prepared by the family of Alice Dolan, an Africa Unite employee. Instead of celebrating her birthday with family and friends, Alice asked that her family donate this meal. Over 120 people were fed including the elderly residents, school learners, and Ikhaya Loxolo staff members. During lunch learners served in the dining hall and fed residents who were not physically able to leave their rooms. They even sang and danced with residents and care takers throughout the meal. Others washed dishes or assisted the Ikhaya Loxolo cooks in peeling potatoes for the next meal.
The Mandela High President began the speaking portion of the event by introducing the AU School Club to residents. He was followed by Bombvana Ntswaki’s passionate poem on the frustrations of poverty “poverty I am not your property,” that moved many in the crowd. Alice Dolan spoke emotionally on behalf of Africa Unite and was recognized for her family’s generous gift. Cllr. Siyabulela Mamkeli was the keynote speaker and used his teenage experiences to encourage the learners to continue serving their community and invest themselves in the political process. He noted that the new management of Ikhaya Loxolo had made vast improvements to the building and well-being of its residents since his last visit. He then commended the Africa Unite School Club for uniting the community and taking the initiative to appreciate our elders as they fought for the freedom we now enjoy. Next, learners presented Ikhaya Loxolo with gifts of vegetables and rice to be served at future meals. The manager Nandi Diamini spoke warmly to her residents and then directly to the School Club. She advised the learners that it is important to know who they are so they always know where they are going. Ms. Diamini closed her speech with, “keep it up, you are the best.” To close the event, an elderly woman spoke on behalf of Ikhaya Loxolo community members and was brought to tears in thankfulness for the learner’s enthusiasm and entertainment.
*** Africa Unite would like to thank the Dolan family for their generous contribution and hard work. In addition, we thank Nandi Diamini and her staff for welcoming us at Ikhaya Loxolo. Finally, Mayoral Committee Cllr. Siyabulela Mamkeli for his kind words and presence at the event.