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Roodepoort Theatre remembers Madiba​


The Roodepoort Theatre rolled out the red carpet for hundreds of children and adults from many parts of the West Rand for a day of fun and pampering in remembrance of the late former president Nelson Mandela on his birthday on Saturday.
Most of the children were from Kagiso and surrounding areas.

The event, part of the citywide Mandela Day celebrations, was jointly organised by the theatre and Alexander Harvest Time Foundation, a Discovery-based non-governmental organisation that has been supplying local schools with food and toiletry hampers since 2013.

Shrieks of excitement could be heard as the children flipped on the jumping castles. When they became a little weary, they sat down and had their faces painted by the foundation’s representatives, who also supervised them during cup-cake decorations. An empty stomach is the devil’s playground, so goes a Hungarian proverb. But Jill Alexander, the founder of Harvest Time, would have none of that, so she ensured that the children tucked into boerewors rolls.

“We’ve been here since 7.30am but it was for a good cause. The City of Joburg was a wonderful partner. Its employees came out in numbers to ensure the children had a good time,” she said.

More than 60 adults were voluntarily screened for high blood pressure, diabetes, prostate cancer, pap smear and HIV-Aids. Rose Legwale, Region C’s Health Promotion Operations Manager, said a team of 12 City staff members was tasked with the processing of the health screening.

“Our Healthy Lifestyle Programme partner, Virgin Active, and our biokineticist took the children and adults through aerobics. It was really worth waking up early for,” said Legwale.

Kgomotso Modise, whose face was painted like Spiderman’s, said he was going to tell his friends back home in Kagiso that they “missed out big time”.
“The people were nice. We played games with the other children,” he said.

Johannesburg Metropolitation Police Department Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar, lauded both the theatre and the foundation for fulfilling Mandela’s wish of bringing joy, happiness and laughter to the less fortunate. “I just wish every day could be a Mandela Day. There would certainly be less chaos on the roads,” he quipped.

The theatre’s Customer Services Manager, Thato Phiri, said the day was a roaring success. “Everyone came to the party. Everyone, especially the children, had a ball. I’m more than satisfied,” Phiri said.

He said he hoped the day would become an annual event.