She bursts into old Mpaxanga and soul classics and with energetic twists of legs and body swings gets into a dancing mood causing tens of the elderly to stand up and join her on stage. Many of them, performing a dance move for the first time since they hit old age.
This is Mishozi Emelda Molokomme,75, very energetic looking despite her age. She says she still sings and dances in her old age just like during her youth, and that has kept her body in fresh shape. She wants every elderly person to embrace this state of mind and live healthier and possibly longer.
Molokomme, famous over he years for her activism in gender issues, including the establishment of the first women rights NGO, Emang Basadi, is convinced old age is a state of mind, and that even in advanced age, the elderly can still be happy, healthy and energetic by refusing to give in to old age myth, which she says can only weaken the elderly people’s bodies.
Molokomme, a consultant in various issues, as well as a counsellor, was an early Christmas present for the elderly people of Mookane village, where over 100 elders gathered at philanthropist Pinkie Setlalekgosi’s compound to receive free counselling and motivation from Molokomme, who gave it out in full measure.
According to Molokomme the elderly can learn to defy age and live healthy lives by among others taking walks, exercising, and doing home chores.
Molokomme says old age should be seen as a rewarding stage of life and not as a curse, noting there is a lot the elderly can start to look back at and celebrate with pride after raising men and women who have gone on to be respectable adults in the society.
She described holding grudges against one another or neighbours as cancerous and urged the elderly people to shun such spirit, and instead concentrate on positive virtues such as love, and forgiveness which produce happiness in one’s heart.
According to Setlalekgosi, she invited Molokomme to inspire and motivate the elderly in her village so they can live their lives with purpose and hope, and desist from the mentality that old people are only waiting for death to strike. It was not only the gift of motivational speaker that Pinkie Setlalekgosi, the winner of the Presidential award for meritorious service this year, brought to the Mookane elderly.
Over 100 walked home with food hampers worth over P40,000, packed neatly in large bowls. President Ian Khama’s Senior Private Secretary George Tlhalerwa attended the Christmas event in Mookane, Tlhalerwa said he was invited to Setlalekgosi’s charitable works in the village on three various occasions.
He described Stlalekgosi’s philanthropic gesture as resonating well with President Ian Khama’s spirit of botho, love, charity and patriotism, among others.
Tlhalerwa says he was there when Setlalekgosi launched her “adopt-a-school” initiative in the village, which entailed refurbishing all the classrooms at her own costs, planting beautiful gardens in the school, donating ICT equipment, installing internet facility, electricity, sourcing furniture for the school and continuing to buy uniforms and shoes for hundreds of the needy pupils in the village.
Tlhalerwa said he was very happy to learn that the primary school this year has produced once again better results, including four A’s and 14 B’s. Tlhalerwa said the country needed more of the likes of Setlalekgosi to improve the society’s fabric.
He also paid tribute to many companies and individuals across the country who have heeded President Khama’s call to play a role in the development and upliftment of their communities.