Spreading the peace message

2013-10-28 00:00

IF you want peace, start with a smile. There’s great truth in this statement, made by Elandskop schoolboy Nqubeko Ngubo, but achieving peace is usually more complicated. Hence the gathering at Pietermaritzburg’s Old Prison last week, where Nqubeko was speaking to more than 75 people from townships and schools around Pietermaritzburg, to learn more about setting up Peace Clubs in their communities.

The gathering had a pan-African flavour, with a smattering of different accents. One man provided a lesson in action when he declared that “99% of South Africans carry knives for protection. Even women carry a knife in their bags.” This caused first hilarity and then irritation from South African participants, but Juma nimbly stepped in, pointing out that “Peace Clubs don’t promote stereotypes. This is what you’ll be doing, you need to find a non-violent way to respond to what people say.”

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