Midrand to Host the First Large South African Sign Language Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses Since 2019
23 August 2023
After a three-year pandemic pause, one of the largest convention organisations in the world has once again chosen Midrand to host the first of four South African Sign Language (SASL) three-day events, the 2023 “Exercise Patience”! Conventions.
In 2020, the pandemic interrupted that tradition when Jehovah’s Witnesses canceled their in-person events throughout the world and held their convention programs as virtual events in more than 500 languages. Prior to 2023, there was one SASL convention in South Africa. From August 25 to August 27, 2023, the Witnesses will bring that tradition back to Midrand Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
However, 2023 will see an additional three more SASL venues in South Africa, to be held in Cape Town, Gqeberha and Durban.
“As much as we loved the convenience and quality of our virtual conventions, nothing can replace being together in a large group setting,” said Brian Mnkosana, Gauteng’s Regional Spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “While our online conventions reached millions around the world and kept our communities safe, we long to get back to our joyful fellowship at these large gatherings.”
Some 6,000 conventions will be held worldwide as part of the 2023 “Exercise Patience”! Convention series. In South Africa alone, about 60 conventions will be held in 20 host cities. From Friday through Sunday, six convention sessions will explore the quality of patience, highlighting its modern-day relevance through Scriptural examples. A live baptism will be performed following the Saturday morning session and a prerecorded drama will be featured in two parts during the Saturday and Sunday afternoon sessions.
“Patience is a beautiful quality that all Christians desire to display in their daily lives,”says Mnkosana. “Despite our good intentions, however, maintaining patience in the face of life’s many challenges can be a daily struggle. Spending three days exploring aspects of this quality will be very timely for all of us.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses have been holding public conventions in stadiums, arenas, convention centers, and theaters around the world for more than 100 years. After resuming smaller in-person meetings and their public ministry during 2022, 2023 marks the first time they will gather at much larger regional events around the world since the lifting of pandemic restrictions.
The convention is open to the public and no collection is taken. For more information on the program or to find other convention locations and dates, please go to jw.org and navigate to the “About Us” tab.
Please see dates and venues for all South Africa Sign Language Conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses in South Africa: