Sawubona – a new initiative to combat ageism and advocate for the rights of older persons


In a world where older people are often not acknowledged or even ‘seen’, Tafta’s new Sawubona Campaign aims to address age discrimination and promote the rights, protection, and dignity of older people.

“Age discrimination often leads to elder abuse,” explains Tafta, CEO Femada Shamam. “Older individuals are sometimes denied their fundamental rights to protection and a life lived with dignity”

“The Sawubona Campaign confronts this deeply rooted problem by encouraging society to truly ‘see’ and appreciate the value and contributions of older people.”

‘Sawubona’ – an isiZulu greeting that translates to ‘I see you’ – encapsulates the essence of Tafta’s initiative to recognize and acknowledge the presence, wisdom, and experiences of the older generation. Throughout the year, the campaign will unfold, providing resources and opportunities aimed at fostering intergenerational connections and creating spaces that honour elders.

Shamam encourages Tafta supporters to join the movement by engaging with us on social media and participating in calls to action. Please use the hashtag #Sawubona2024 to share your personal Sawubona initiative – whether it’s a story, a commitment, or an action that promotes inclusivity and appreciation for older people.

As a first step, please sign the petition issued by GAROP (Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People) advocating for a UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons.

This global effort aims to address ageism at an international level through a binding legal instrument and foster a world that values and protects the rights of older individuals.

It is time to lift the veil of ageism and truly ‘see our elders’.