The senior citizens of the Khomasdal constituency recently came together to celebrate the festive season at the constituency office in Otjomuise. The event, which was hosted by the constituency councillor and Chairperson of the National Council Margaret Mensah-Williams, aimed at conveying gratitude towards the elderly for being the backbone of the country.
Addressing the event, the councillor noted that the old people are often pushed aside when it comes to the festive season. “You are the strong walls of the country and we want you to know, today, that you are our backbone. If you don’t have a spine you won’t be able to move,” she said. She further stated that it is because of the elders that Namibia can stand strong and it is because of their prayers that Namibians have peace. “Thank you for everything that you that you are doing that others do not see.”
The councillor made it clear that the monthly grant that the elders receive from the government is a token of appreciation for what they have done. “You are the ones who brought us up, you taught us how to keep up the 10 Commandments of God, you taught us how to pray and we can only say to you thank you through that grant. It is not a pay, we must not call it a pay,” emphasized Mensah-Williams.
Mensah-Williams advised the seniors to make use of the services offered by their office. “If you have problems talk to our social worker and if you speak a different language other than English and Afrikaans, we have interpreters for you. “Do not allow yourselves to be abused by your children or grandchildren there is a law that protects you.”
She also reminded the senior citizens of the maintenance law stating that it is not only for children. “If your child can afford and don’t maintain you that law says that you must go to court and the court will get your child to support you. Report them for not supporting you.”
The councillor further invited the senior citizens of the constituency to her office to share their wisdom and tell stories of the olden days. “I want you to bring your stories, we will write your stories, and we will report your stories. Speak to somebody who writes and we will write a book with your stories,” she called.
“By 2017, we want you to come to the office certain days to teach young people basic responsibilities because we have lost that. We have lost our culture and we have lost our characters.” She further asked the children to make their elders happy. “Go carry water to them, go clean the houses for them and let us go and assist them if they can’t wash themselves”
The councillor also called on old people to make use of the senior parks. “There are places in PioniersPark for old people where you can go and stay and be among your peers who understand you well. Most people think that those places are for the upper class but they are for everybody,” she said adding that their children and grandchildren are allowed to visit for two weeks and not longer than that.
For the Christmas gifts, the senior citizens received parcels, which included Hungry Lion, 1kg of Jungle Oats, soft drinks, Five Roses tea bags, beef, and sweets, 5kg of macaroni, sugar and biscuits.
The oldest citizen present at the occasion was 85-year-old Magrieta Afrikaner, who lives with two of her daughters.
A 65-year-old Dorothea Haobes expressed her gratitude saying that she is glad to have been invited and wishes for the councillor more strength. “We enjoyed,” she said.