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#LeadSA: 'Sivukile Sonele' trying to make a difference for the youth of Langa

Written by: Paula Luckhoff

Sivukile Sonele is a social movement founded in Langa in Cape Town to build bridges between competing groups in a community plagued by violence.

It's organised dialogues and also aims to bring young people together through sport, specifically soccer and netball tournaments.

Read: We cannot let people live in fear - WC SAHRC commissioner Chris Nissen

For this week's LeadSA interview, Africa Melane speaks to Sivukile Sonele co-founder, Vusi Madidi.

He says the name translates as "We are fed up"

We are fed up of just watching and talking and that's what led to the formation of the movement.

Vusi Mandidi, Co-founder - Sivukile Sonene

Langa is no exception (to gangsterism). Cape Town is predominantly a so-called Coloured area... but we are also affected in our township, the so-called Black people.

Vusi Mandidi, Co-founder - Sivukile Sonene

But what are the reasons young people feel driven to form gangs in Langa?

Mandidi says it's linked to the area's spatial planning with its division into sections, and the need to belong.

Friendships that are formed may be territorial... You'll find that Langa has some structures that are built different from each section... To some it is a form of belonging.

Vusi Mandidi, Co-founder - Sivukile Sonene

The group has started a community safety initiative and, since the beginning of March, organised a number of dialogues to try and get competing groups of young people to "talk it out".

Mandidi says youngsters like to get hold of cell phones to exchange for cash as this is the easiest way to procure drugs, with criminal activity peaking during school holidays.

As we started the patrol, a community safety initiative on the 12th of March, our main purpose was about reclaiming the streets.

Vusi Mandidi, Co-founder - Sivukile Sonene

There is no way you can look at this and just do nothing

Vusi Mandidi, Co-founder - Sivukile Sonene

These are our children, our nephews - we had to come up with an action and we decided, let's just facilitate a peace agreement.

Vusi Mandidi, Co-founder - Sivukile Sonene

We let them know we are not happy as a community because we are the voice of the community as we are rooted in the community

Vusi Mandidi, Co-founder - Sivukile Sonene

Mandidi believes that to change the community, the youth needs to change.

What we are trying to do is to transform their culture, to change the way they think, to change the way they act.

Vusi Mandidi, Co-founder - Sivukile Sonene

Listen to the conversation below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : #LeadSA: 'Sivukile Sonele' trying to make a difference for the youth of Langa




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