By Tauhierah Salie
“VOC is that friend you can always rely on. It’s my companion. It ensures elderly people like myself remain happy and healthy in our own homes.” This heartfelt sentiment summed up the feelings of many of VOC’s ‘golden oldies’, who spent Saturday afternoon at the 9th annual Golden Hour Luncheon at Belgravia High School in Athlone. It was an afternoon of good food, entertainment and friendship as VOC reconnected with its elderly listeners, who form the backbone of the station and remain ardent supporters since its inception.
Some 900 guests were entertained by the likes of 7 Steps Cultural Group, The Prodigy and stand-up comedian Wasief Piekaan. VOC presenters Boeta Yusuf Fisher and Ayesha Laatoe MC-ed the event and awarded 10 extra-ordinary women over the age of 75 years for their contribution to their communities. Not only was the event a success, but many said they would attend again next year.
The set-up and décor took around 3 hours, with the hall adorned in white, gold and salmon accessories. Each table had either beautiful flowers or equally beautiful centre pieces that added an extra flair to the whole affair. Not only was the hall beautifully decorated, but so were its guests!
The crowd was dressed to the nines, with some in bright colours and diamante strewn patterns, while others were in subtle designs- all the while maintaining their modesty. Rest assured, their husbands came along for the ride and, in true gentlemen style, accompanied their women in suits and ties.
For most, it was a unique opportunity to get out of the house dressed to impress and get together with people their own age. The crowd were moved by the thikr as the hall began to fill up, using the opportunity to get to know their fellow guests. The hall filled with soft conversation as waiters from Barrons Catering Service led guests to their seats, while others served starters comprised of savouries and vegetable soup.
The event was kicked off by Shaykh Magmoed Latoe, rendering the opening dua. Chairperson of the VOC Management Board, Amien Samodien, then took to the stage to welcome the guests and highlight the importance of women’s role in our lives. He also paid tribute to the late Munadia Karaan, a stalwart of the station.
“Women to a large extent are the driving force at the Voice of The Cape. If you come to the radio station, if you listen to our radio station from 7 o’ clock in the morning until 4pm in the afternoon, we have women who are presenting the shows. Even working within the station, behind the scenes- women play a pivotal role in our success,” says Samodien.
7 steps Cultural Group then treated the audience to a live performance of well-known liedtjies, with 10 of a group of 13 upcoming youth in the Cape Malay Choir fraternity. The singers and musicians, between the ages of 20-30, are from various areas in Cape Town and the distinctive banjo took the audience back to a time where melodies relied on instrumental skill and vocal talent.
A break was taken for the serving of a delicious lunch of steak, rice and vegetables. Boeta Yusuf and Ayesha Laatoe then handed over awards to the following women for their contributions to their communities:
Elizabeth Bantum who has served the community of Hanover Park for 43 years and is the commissioner of oaths, deputy chairperson of the health committee and also serving on the ward committee.
Boeta Raji Devajee hands the award to Hajja Ayesha Patel
Faatimah Abrahams who serves the community by regularly feeding the poor.
Farieda Saban, who is a member of the community Forum and Womans network (and a dress maker). She helps the poor in the community with food and other services.
Other women acknowledged:
Fatima Syme, Sarah Magdalena Meiring, Warrdia Mulla, Asa Cassiem, Shireen Marlie, Salega Seaborne, Zainab Amlay Davidson and Zuleika Karaan
A break was taken for the waqts of Thur and Asr, with Salaah tul Jamaa being facilitated through nearby classrooms that were made available. Most of the women in attendance proceeded with salaah from their seats.
The Prodigy then reignited the crowd with live singing performances of various familiar songs and impressed the crowd with their vocal gymnastics.
Stand-up comedian, Wasief Piekann, gave the singing (and dancing!) a break and had the crowd in stiches with his performance. Not only was his character “Mariam” completed with a headscarf, but her conversation was very relatable.
The group then returned and it was the first time they had performed together in 7 years. The group is comprised of Ikraam Cupido, Safwaan Goolam, Ziyaad Danshia, Ebrahim Florres, Isghak Adams and new member Rashaad Booley. They’re also part of a project written by Mr Clive Vijaway, called “Be A Man” which highlights the importance of respecting and honouring women.
Over all, the Golden Hour Luncheon 2018 was a roaring success and many of its attendees said they will be back again next year. Every guest went home with a gift which was sponsored by Gift of the Givers. Apart from the goodie bag, and in light of the recent drought, guests also received a 5 litre bottle water.
Seventeen volunteers from Melomed24 paramedics were also on stand-by for any emergencies and provided guests with free BP and sugar tests.
“VOC would like to give shukr and thanks to the women who were awarded for their hard work and dedication to their communities, even at their rich age, Alhamdulilah. We would also like to express our gratitude to everyone who contributed to and supported the event, as without you, the hall would have been filled with emptiness and not happiness,” said organiser Sukayna Johaadien.