From the news desk

VOC listeners remember D6 days

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It was indeed a trip down memory lane as VOC’s loyal elderly listeners evoked the spirit of the golden days of District Six at the station’s 5th Annual Golden Hour Luncheon on Saturday. Guests came in their vintage attire to keep in with the theme ‘The Star Bioscope in District 6.’ The event, held at Darul Islam High School in Surrey Estate, also celebrates 20 years of broadcasting.

As usual, its the ladies who came out in their numbers

The event hosted 850 people who were served a three course meal while relaxing to the sounds of live entertainment. The senior citizens spent the day catching up with old friends and interacting with their favourite VOC presenters. As usual, Golden Hour presenter Yusuf Fisher had the biggest fan base as ardent VOC supporters showed their love and appreciation for the station.

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Aeysha Laatoe, Yusuf FIsher and a guest

“I find the Golden Hour so inspirational. Boeta Yusuf is so comforting particularly if one is alone at home. I find great comfort in the words he speaks and the music he plays as it makes me feel like I am not alone,” shared Zeriena Jardien.

“I enjoy listening to everything that is happening around us and the sound of Boeta Yusuf’s voice,” enthused Faldielah Benjamien.

Shafiq Morton and Achmat Jacobs with  Boeta Karriem and Gabieba Gabier, who are married for 57 years
Shafiq Morton and Achmat Jacobs with Boeta Karriem and Gabieba Gabier, who are married for 57 years

But others revealed the show had touched in more emotional ways.

“The saddest segment of the show is when one has to hear how the children treat their parents,” says Maimoena Jacobs.

“The Golden Hour puts me on an emotional rollercoaster especially listening to the way elderly people are treated,” echoed Gadija Mayor.

Yusuf Fisher entertaining the audience with his traditional humour and wit
Yusuf Fisher entertaining the audience with his traditional humour and wit
Irafaan Abrahams and Ayesha Laatoe chat on stage
Irafaan Abrahams and Ayesha Laatoe chat on stage
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Maulana Aslam Cassiem interacts with a guest

The Golden Hour is produced and presented by ‘Boeta Yusuf’ and has been on air since the inception of VOC 20 years ago. Fisher said the radio station has evolved since the early days when one person served multiple functions.

“We are appreciative of the support of the listeners who have walked this road with us. We have laughed together, cried together, spoken together and this has really been an inspiring and gratifying journey. The listeners are still loyal to VOC and your support of the Golden Hour show keeps us alive,” said Fisher.

VOC presenters Maulana Aslam Cassiem, Abiedah Dixon-Mohamed and Ayesha Laatoe
VOC presenters Maulana Aslam Cassiem, Abiedah Dixon-Mohamed and Ayesha Laatoe

The content which is broadcasted on the show is representative of the Cape Malay culture and District Six memoirs. It gives the elders an opportunity to reminiscence by playing the melodies they enjoy. The show is a form of companionship and a means to get discussions stimulated for its elderly listenership.

“The conversations held during the show The Golden Hour really gets the listeners going,” added Fisher.

Some of the volunteers from the VOC Women's Network
Some of the volunteers from the VOC Women’s Network

While enjoying the culinary tastes on offer, some VOC listeners shared their experiences of life in District Six.

“Life in District Six was so good. We were mostly in the house but you could go onto the streets at night and it would be so safe,” said Gafsah Richards.

“I lived in District Six at the Seven Steps and what I liked about life that time was that it was so cheap to live in the area. You could buy meat for 5 cents and it was enough to make a pot of food out of it,” recalled Elizabeth James.

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Fasiegh Petersen escorts a lady off stage

The ladies dressed up to the nines.

Maimoena Jacobs said she specifically remembered the sights and sounds of the colourful community.

“When I was little, on Mondays my mother made home-made bread and fish and while she cooked I could hear the ships on the dock. The men would wear red fezes for mosque but the most memorable and saddest occurrence was when the Avalon Cinema burnt down,” she explained.

Many former District Six residents say they would love to return as they long for the sense of peace and calm in the community, a far cry from some areas today.

“It was so peaceful before we were moved,” said Ragma Dollie.

“If today were like the old times, it would be much better for the youth. When I lived in District Six it was ‘my child is your child’,” added Adam Abrahams.

Achmat and Farah Jacobs with friends
Achmat and Farah Jacobs with friends
VOC staff taking some time out from their busy schedules

The Luncheon was sponsored by Gift of the Givers, who provided each guest with a gift bag.

“Just the expression on these people’s faces is the most gratifying to us as a station,” said VOC marketing and events co-ordinator Sukayna Johaardien. VOC


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1 comment

  1. I wonder what percentage of restitution claimants have grown old and died while waiting for a house in District Six.

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