By Mbekezeli Ncube
THE annual day of celebrating Bulawayo’s elderly men and women who have reached at least a century years of age was held on Tuesday at a colourful event held at the Small City Hall.
A total of 19 elderly people attended this year’s occasion with the oldest one being 109 years of age.
The centenarians were given mealie meal and other groceries as tokens of appreciation for their attendance.
They were also given an opportunity on the podium to give some words of encouragement and words of wisdom to members of much younger generations who had attended the event.
Bulawayo City Councillors from various wards were present to grace the occasion.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, one of the organisers of the event, Antonia Amyot-Butcher said the occasion was planned with the intention of appreciating the elderly of the Bulawayo community and beyond.
“The main purpose of this event is to recognise, to acknowledge and to celebrate the elderly of the Bulawayo community who are the founders of our society.
“The guests are found through various forms of media and they are sent an invitation from the Mayor’s office of which they will confirm or verify their age through their birth documents.
“Our guests then come with two family members who will assist them transport wise and in everything else that they need to be assisted with throughout the event,” Amyot-Butcher said.
The event was introduced in 2017 by Bulawayo through the Mayor’s office.
Speaking on behalf of Mayor Solomon Mguni who was absent, Councillor Lillian Mlilo said the city was fortunate to be still having centenarians among its residents.
“It is for this reason that we today celebrate the grace and gift of long life with them,” said Mlilo.
“As the city celebrates 125 years of growth today, we celebrate the pillars of the community who have the indigenous knowledge about the growth and development of our City and indeed our nation.
“Bulawayo has grown from the Royal Kraal of Lobengula to a Metropolitan City whose foundation was laid on the industrial growth of the city.”