ZULULAND, S. AFRICA
Last week Sifiso Mchunu and I were invited to a birthday party: Londeka's. Londeka, a bright young girl was celebrating all of eleven years. So what was significant about that? Perhaps a little background will help. Londeka lives in kwaMsane township with her grandmother (Gogo) and unmarried mother. KwaMsane is our biggest concentration of Catholics with about 190 families living at close quarters. The township is divided into six small Christian com-munities (SCCs) which I visit twice a year during Lent and October (Propagation of the Faith) in order to acquaint myself with the people and their social circumstances and to animate the SCCs. During October Londeka ‘s gogo, who is the coordinator of the SCCs, accompanied me to all six groups. The programme is quite simple: Mass with a dialogue sermon, a report by the SCC chair with comments, a donation to the priest "for his petrol" and, at times some refreshments and chat. The atmosphere is very familiar, spontaneous and quite informative. This year Londeka attended most of the SCCs and in the course of the process, informed her gogo that when celebrating her birthday she also wanted a Mass. Gogo did the necessary negotiations and Sifiso also got an SMS inviting him to attend. Being closer to the world of an eleven year old I asked him to grace the occasion with the necessary "few words." So Sifiso kicked off the process with great oomph, reminding Londeka about her future and the importance of education as to key to open all doors.