Thank you’s flowed, and what was clear is that we all truly understand that it is the team effort – Grannies à Gogo, Rev. Ginny, Milly and Ruth, Joy and Reinette, and the indomitable spirit of the gogos. The whole thing has become bigger than the sum of its parts.
My breath was quite taken away when two of them hustled me off to a side room and put a traditional SiSwati dress on me. This was a surprise not only to me, but to all the other gogos, and when we re-entered singing and swaying they were almost as euphoric as I was. The symbolism of making me their sister didn’t escape me.
Earlier I gave a little party for the gogos and Home Based Care ladies – two cakes decorated with “We love you Sitabogogo” and bowls of fruit and juice.
On another subject, I’m often asked why the gogos are always seen with hats of some sort and haven’t been able to answer. So I finally asked. They answered that it is their culture to wear a head covering once a woman is married or has a child (those two events being in no particular order.) They explained they are probably the last generation to do so, as young women now experiment with many hairstyles instead. They also mentioned that they’ve never worn trousers as the younger women now do. Here’s an idea via Ginny – to buy white cotton hats for all of them, similar to the one in the lower left of the photo, and then they will decorate them with their beadwork.
I’ve made reference throughout the last three weeks to how Sitabogogo has become a recognized presence in the community. This was underscored yet again when Ginny introduced me to the young man instrumental in organizing the representatives from Thaba Chweu for last year’s Senior Games (see Blog #4: Golden Gogos). Apparently this year he hopes to make up an entire team from Sitabogogo!
So much to watch for and support in the year ahead. Salani kahle, and hope to see many of you at the Pot Luck on March 31st – I’ll have a slide show of this visit (and wear my SiSwati member dress!)