A group of men who call themselves the Good Friends gathered at Ethembeni Old Age Service Centre in Joza on Women’s Day to celebrate Women’s Day. The Good Friends – most of them Rhodes University employees – were Malungisa Matika, Monde Prince, Vuyani Jacobs, Lamani Matholweni, Thembelani Boma and Mncedisi Boma.
Ward 2 Councillor Rami Xonxa encouraged the elders to recount their knowledge of the day in 1956 that women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria have the “dompas” abolished.
“It might be that our grievances are not yet met, but we must respect the freedom we fought for and those who died for it,” Xonxa said.
Boma said the six “good friends” (abahlobo abalungileyo) usuallly helped one another.
“We thought we should extend this to help solve some community problems,” Boma said.
The Good Friends, who are Nehawu shop stewards at Rhodes University, have a programme to collect clothing and distribute it to care centres.
“We are asking to the ward councillor to allow us to be the Good Friends of this old age home,” Boma said. “We believe that this Centre is one of the places that keeps our elders happy.”
Xonxa said, “There is nothing I can say, as you all have seen the smiles and the happiness of our Elders. This is a much needed facility that must remain open.”