“You strike a woman, you strike a rock”. These powerful words, which put emphasis on the strength of a woman, were recently chanted by the hundreds of retired female teachers gathered at the St Peter’s Methodist Church in Bochabela for the Mangaung Retired Teachers’ Association (Mareta)’s Women’s Month event.
The programme featured various speakers from within the organisation who spoke words of courage and empowerment in order to get the masses to continue to make a difference in their communities.
There were a couple of thorns among the ‘roses’ as the gathering also acted as a Mareta general meeting, which is held on the second Tuesday of every month.
This event was not only a commemoration of the sacrifice the
20 000 women made by marching to the Union Buildings in 1956, but it was also used as a platform to commend women for the significant role they play in society: “We want to encourage all women to follow in the footsteps of these past giants and to build on the legacy that they left. We want them to stay on ‘top of the game’ as women. We don’t want to lose the momentum that we have,” said executive treasurer of Mareta, Nonkazimlo Ngendane.
She noted that teachers wear many hats and help to mould the future of so many youngsters while also carrying the burden of the effects that social ills have on the learners. The Mareta Women’s Day celebration was the first of its kind, but the members hope to make it an annual feature on their calendar. – Molebogeng Matebele