Victory Sonqoba Theater Company

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Victory Sonqoba Theater Company

South Africa
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Bongani Linda a skilled community theatre person, sees opportunity to build trust within historically divided communities through cultural projects and events. Through joint participation in music, dance, dramatic plays and sports, the members of groups in conflict discover their commonality and come to accept one another. His approach represents a distinctive homegrown blending of prior "peace" interventions and "community-based" cultural projects.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

After studying the conflict-ridden communities of South Africa's Gauteng province, Bongani Linda concluded that the two distinct factions of South Africa's black townships-"normal" township residents and the transit workers who dwell in large single-sex "hostels"-were ready to end the violent conflict that defined their relationships for many years. He then set about demonstrating how. Previous peace and reconciliation efforts had failed, according to Bongani, because they did not address the underlying lack of trust between the different groups. They focus, understandably, on stopping ongoing violence at times of crisis and, less understandably, do not undertake sustained efforts to create the conditions for lasting peace. Typically, leaders of community groups or political parties undertake negotiated peace agreements. The "man in the street," however, is hardly involved in the process. Demonstrations of support for the "treaties"-such as marches with supporters wearing peace badges and hoisting blue and white flags-usually provide the only occasion at which the treaties are respected. Considering the central role that culture and sport play in South Africa's townships, Bongani believes that cultural and sporting activities can be used to bridge the gap between warring community factions. Through participation in organized music, dance, dramatic plays and sports activities, members of the two groups can discover what they have in common and may thereby come to accept one another. Bongani is implementing this promising new method to build lasting peace in South Africa's townships.