Grannies bring the message home in musical

The aim of the musical is to educate people on what challenges these women face. Photo: Sanmari Marais.

Bafana Dladla didn’t want elderly women to be left out, so he created a show in which the grannies are starring to celebrate their milestones.

Last week, 17 seventeen gogos performed the show at the SA State Theatre in the Pretoria CBD to a mixed audience of young and old.

Dladla, director and writer, penned the musical Gug’othandayo, which means getting old is a choice in 2010.

Little did he know that the musical would attract young people to watch gogos who complain, in the story, about how the government treats them.

He said his aim was to educate people about challenges elderly women face while also caring for their grandchildren who are left in their care.

ALSO READ: SA State Theatre telling stories for decades

The musical advises young people how to take care of themselves in this fast-paced world.

“The elderly are often neglected and found to be uninteresting while in fact, they are the most interesting people on earth. They have so much to give, like advising young people on what to do when faced with a challenge,” Dladla said.

“Their wisdom needs to be taken seriously by young people, the government needs to treat them with great respect instead of giving them empty promises when they need their votes come election times.”

He said the stories of these elderly women needed to be told.

“These stories, combined with songs, revolve around their dealings and disappointments with government departments, such as the infamous South African Social Security Agency and memories of their trials and tribulations,” he said.

Dladla also composed and arranged the music.

The Gug’othandayo band featured at the Intwasa arts festival’s spring jazz night, performing a number of their songs and adaptations of popular South African jazz songs.

ALSO READ: State Theatre grooms new talent

Dladla said travelling to other African countries like Zimbabwe has “opened doors full of opportunities for the group”.

He said they toured other countries and provinces, inspiring a dialogue about how the elderly are treated.

The group of 17 gogos hails from eMalahleni (Witbank), in Mpumalanga.


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