REIGNING MISS Soweto, Nthabiseng Kgasi celebrated her 22nd birthday with boisterous kids from three charities at the Box Shop on Orlando West’s Vilakazi Street, on Saturday.
With her genuinely supportive parent mother Stephinah and father Apholo on hand – the friendly, third-year marketing student (at Monash University) from Protea Glen brought cheers to some fifty youngsters from Thembelenkosini Children, Emdeni Drop-in Centre and Kliptown Youth Program, on her youthfully milestone.
On hand to celebrate the beauty’s special occasion were Scandal actress, Mapaseka Koetle and a team from an educational organization named Nutty Scientists led by artist scientist instructor Kea Motlana – a granddaughter of late civic leader, Dr Nthato Motlana, who demonstrated fun experiments to the kids and curious adults looking on.
Motlana’s entity, which bears the animated portrait of Albert Einstein for its logo, treated the audience to shows such as one referred to as the magic experience, which had her pouring water into three plastic cups place atop the heads of an equal number of volunteers and with the last cup [unbeknown to the viewers] partly filled with a powdery substance known as an absorbent polimer and which when water gets poured onto, immediately absorbs the liquid so that when she got to tipping over the cup – no water spilled out since the powder had done absorbed it.
Motlana’s manner of instructing had an emphatic touch to it and added an even commendable twist to it by sprucing her shows with wise-crack quotes such as, “if you continue to be the light, then others won’t be scared to show the light” by Nelson Mandela – and with her organization having a payoff- line by Confucius along this line: hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.
The Box Shop’s parking area’s layout also accommodated a face painting station to which kids of varying ages and sizes were taken by the visiting NGOs’ minders for creative makeovers such as the grey beard look administered to the boys – to a rather impressive effect!
Having come from there, some of them were spotted inspecting the handiwork through a mirror.
The celebrant then bid the lot to a nearby stage for a series of activities such as impromptu singing contests among themselves. Vusi Nova’s Ngikuthandile was belted and at some stage on stage, some child requested an English language song to sing along to from the deejay – eliciting laughter from those gathered around and prompting an onlooker to quip that “children are quite some characters”.
Mofolo Melodies, a male’s only acapella group got a chance to belt out tunes such as Nathi’s Nomvula.
Came dancing time, Kgasi teased that only those kids who danced would be the ones who’d get to receive slices of cake.
The playful threat seemed to have the desired effect since one particular 5 year mite from Senaoane named Siphamandla Dube who took up the challenge with gusto as he confidently strutted his stuff by wowing his peers and the adults with a rap and shuffle repertoire.
The latest moves were bullishly on display as they also boogied with her.
At that stage, matters were now unfolding to the birthday girl’s wishes – that of ensuring that the kids from those chosen charities she closely works with, thoroughly celebrate and enjoy the occasion. And having had group pictures snapped with her, when it was lunchtime, a Chesanyama feeding station supplied the bunch with boerewors rolls and cold drinks.
To the accompaniment of music, yet another station occupied by a partnering company named Couture Cake Company, saw to it that the visitors’ sweet teeth were satiated by serving cupcakes and generous slices of Chocolate Diddle-Daddle, Blue Velvet and Red Velvet cake varieties.
One of their creations, the centerpiece meant to be Miss Soweto’s birthday cake, suffered the misfortune of getting squashed when a sponsor’s banner happen to topple bang atop it.
But that wasn’t just the only dessert on offer on the day, as queues formed at another part of the space for helpings of custard and jelly. And with others now evidently having a ball of a time on the nearby jumping castle, others would be spotted heading towards a popcorn station.
The adults meanwhile, were treated to a finger lunch and mingled with the caregivers and minders from the hosted homes, whose role in the communities they are situated at, is to help out with homework as well as the provision of nutritional meals – during the period when schools are closed.
It was mid-afternoon when the young revelers, armed with multi-coloured balloons, were requested to form one last queue for the purpose of receiving hampers of a backpack containing goodies such as calculators, silicone bracelets, water bottles, notebooks and bags of flavoured instant porridge.