By Emily Setona
QWAQWA – Traditional leaders in QwaQwa have applauded the MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Limakatso Mahasa for choosing the traditional council to host her programme promoting a culture of health and fitness among youth .
Chief Matoane Mota of the Batlhokwa clan told The Guard: “This programme comes directly from the MEC of the Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation. We have come on board because she requested that we celebrate this day in the rural villages as opposed to always hosting such events at the Phuthadithjaba stadium. That is why today we see this sports days here in the Batlhokwa village of Thibella.”
Lefa Mopeli the senior traditional leader from the Monontsha traditional council had this to say: “When the MEC approached the House of Traditional leaders, we as the Bakoena clan decided to support her because the aim is to take our children away from drug and alcohol abuse and promote a healthy lifestyle through sports.”
The Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation partnered with the House of Traditional leaders to celebrate Youth Day by playing sports through the rural sports development programme.
The acting head of the department, Zola Thamae, said the rural sports and development programme receives a conditional grant from government so that it can run effectively.
“I am very happy to see the support that we have received from the House of Traditional leaders because every time we say we are bringing this programme to Qwaqwa, they are always ready to assist our department. Today is a celebration, we are celebrating Youth Day through sports, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle amongst the youth,” Thamae said.
At the same occasion, MEC Mahasa said: “The reason we have brought this event to this area is because most of the social problems that we are facing as a community are largely felt by our rural communities. We are going to embark on a lot of projects in partnership with the House of Traditional Leaders just to remind our children about who they are and where they come from. The issue of identity is very important to me, because a nation that does not know where it comes from will not know where it is going.”
The types of sports that were played on this day where netball, ladies soccer, soccer for men; and indigenous games such as stick fighting, morabaraba and diketo.
June 16 is a public holiday that commemorates the Soweto uprising of 1976 when black school children in South Africa began to protest in the streets of Soweto in response to the introduction of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in black schools.