ANC FAITHFUL SHOW SUPPORT
They came in their thousands to rejoice
FOR AN event like the ANC 105 years celebration, Don Nkomo started his day in the early hours of the morning.
The 75-year-old vendor got to Orlando Stadium in Soweto at 2am to start setting up his food stall.
“We sell where we can. At soccer games and big events like this one,” said Nkomo.
He works with his son Lungile, who also arrived early from Bellevue East to make sure the day would go without a hitch.
Before they could set up, they had to first wait for the officials to check their items and the hygiene of their equipment. Then they were given a location to set up their stations.
“I specialise in chips and kotas, and the braai meat and pap specials. It’s not always a profit but we try hard. It’s also very dependent on the people and what they are looking for. It’s always a gamble.”
By the time President Jacob Zuma was done with his speech, business had started to pick up for Nkomo.
His vocation has sustained him for 10 years, and he intends to continue with it.
When Rita Mkele, Nosihle Mkhulisi and Amanda Nozombile weren’t singing their favourite Struggle songs outside the stadium, they were changing into various outfits to suit their mood.
“Our freedom was fought for, this is the only organisation that truly recognises a rainbow nation. I will never join any other party, no matter what,” said Mkele.
Though Matshidiso Sekele and Zandile Nkosi were also big fans of the ANC, they said they wanted Zuma to step down.
“We really hope the party cleans itself up. We want economic emancipation, free education and our land back – all in our lifetime,” said Sekele.
The women chose to dress in military colours for the event, signifying their fighting spirit.
Some of the older women and grannies who were at the stadium shared some of the same sentiments.
Mankopane Sempe and Maki Dingalo both said they would always support the ANC because it afforded them the opportunity to take their children to no-fee schools and be part of feeding schemes.
Yesterday’s event was well attended. Those who could not find seating inside the stadium chose to picnic outside before the rain started again.
There were also several dance groups that were providing entertainment.
The Maja Ntja Sesotho traditional group said they danced to keep their culture alive.
“We practise every day for three hours. We get a great reception at the different events we perform at,” said group leader Mpolokeng Nhlapo.
At One Nation House of Art, the girls and boys who learn drama, poetry, pantsula dance and traditional dance are always expressing themselves.
At the celebration yesterday, they got the crowd going while practising their dance moves before heading out to entertain the crowd.
Dance teacher Mathabo Dyasi said the group was formed in 2001 and had been going strong since then.
“It’s all about keeping them busy and away from negative influences like drugs, crime and teenage pregnancy,” he said.
The group is based in Meadowlands, Soweto, and performs often at weddings, concerts and parties.
Despite the overcast weather, many people who came to support the ANC and celebrate stayed on PICTURE: MATTHEWS BALOYI through the rain.
Some bought branded clothing and caps to keep the rain at bay and others ran for shelter inside the stadium.
PET PROJECT: AN MK Military Veterans Association member had a dog on his shoulder during President Jacob Zuma’s January 8 address at Orlando Stadium for the 105th anniversary of the ANC.
GOT TO HAND IT TO THEM: These supporters made their views heard at the 105th birthday celebrations.
ENJOYING THE MOMENT: ANC members attend the celebration event in Soweto yesterday.
ATTENTIVE: An MKMVA member during President Jacob Zuma’s address.
IT’S THEIR PARTY: Despite the rain, thousands of ANC members filled the stadium for the celebrations.
IN GOOD SPIRITS: Winnie MadikizelaMandela arrives at Orlando Stadium for the ANC’s 105th celebration.
ELEGANT: President Jacob Zuma with his wives Thobeka Madiba Zuma and Gloria Bongekile Ngema arriving at the Sandton Convention Centre for the ANC gala dinner.
COLOURFUL: An ANC supporter in a jovial mood at the rally. PICTURE: EPA