Heritage Day: Youth Celebrating Diversity


September is recognized as Heritage month in South Africa: In order to celebrate this special month, on the 1st of October 2016, Africa Unite in partnership with Somali Association of South Africa and Life Change Center hosted a youth cultural diversity celebration at 6 Spin Street Restaurant in Cape Town.


Our 2 young Mc’s of day: Yonela Khetsheza and Robynne Botha from Africa Unite electrifying the crowd

The event brought more than 105 youth and adults from different backgrounds and communities living in Cape Town to showcase their cultures.

This was done through various activities such as poetry, food tasting, traditional dancing, musical performances, singing and speeches. Different communities were invited to present their customs and cultures. Some of the communities who took the podium were: Xhosa, Somali, Cape Malay, Congolese, Cape Coons, Nigerian, Zimbabwe and Zulu. In addition, there was also a musical performance by the Nujum ul fugara naseed band from Lavender  Hill who sang in Arabic and English, as well as a group from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and opera sung by Mteto Mapoyi.


Sinazo a youth Xhosa poet performing

One of the main guest speakers of the day was the Khoisan Chief Hennie van Wyk, who delivered an empowering and moving speech on the importance of today’s youth in preserving their cultural heritage, as well as learning about the heritage of others in order to develop understanding and perpetuate a harmonious existence. He mentioned that the Khoisans are the first offspring of Western Cape. He warned the youth of the potential negative consequences that come with urbanization and globalization as they may dominate and subjugate one’s own unique culture replacing it with the dominant global narrative and norms.

He encouraged everyone, but especially the youths to celebrate their cultural uniqueness


Congolese team presenting their cultures

and to share it with the world. It is important to be proud of one’s culture and share it with others as a means to promote understanding, draw similarities between us and combat xenophobia. The chief concluded by quoting Marcus Garvey’s quote which says, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”

The youth present and communities were very excited to be part of the event and had the opportunity to learn and understand the meaning of the various dress codes of men and women in African cultures. They also learnt how single men and women dress


The Khoisan Chief Hennie van Wyk delivering the key note speech flanked by his royal guard

code differ from married men and women including different dress codes for various occasions and the various kinds of food eaten by different cultures.

For more pictures click here


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


On the 18th of September 2016 Africa Unite (Singamakhalipha) hosted a fundraising event to raise funds and promote their Foundation Phase Tutorial classes. The event was held at Center For The Book in Queen Victoria Cape Town. Close to 50 guests came out to support the “brave warriors”.

Singamakhalipha children performing the drought drama

Singamakhalipha children performing the drought drama

The children of Singamakhalipha confidently performed drama, dance and singing for the guests and there were a few performances from upcoming artists such as African Indigenous Soul from Phillip and Marie Laure an intern from France.

The Foundation Phase Tutorials began as a result of our home work support programme in the afternoons with the children where we noted that children had not mastered the 3 basic R’s of education that is the ability to Read, write and aRithmetics. We then embarked on Foundation Phase Tutorial classes with thirty children who were identified from our programme. Most of the children selected are from informal settlements in Gugulethu and Nyanga who are in need of assistance through the basics of grade 1, 2 and 3 which is the foundation of all academic education. These classes have run

Part of the audience enjoying the children's presentations

Part of the audience enjoying the children’s presentations

for 8 months now at this event much was shared on the progress of the children and the project.

The event boosted the children’s confidence in their performance skills and their ability to speak in public as the guests sang along and applauded the children’s performances. Some funds were raised from this event and will go a long way in supporting the continuation of the classes.

We would to thank the entire guest for attending the event as their contribution is supporting our effort in giving the children a fair chance in education. We would also like to say a BIG thank you to Food Lovers Market located at St Georges Mall for providing refreshments for the day and making our day more colorful.

Marie Laure and Sarah Peigney performing a song which they composed with the children using waste material

Marie Laure and Sarah Peigney (French Interns) performing a song which they composed with the children using waste material

For more information on our Foundation Phase Tutorial classes or you if you are interested in supporting these classes please contact us on http://www.africaunite.org.za

Call us on 021 461 6551

For More pictures click here

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Simunye High School AU Club puts peer pressure on the spotlight

South African youth, as well as youth all over the world are facing a number of challenges, particularly when they live in conditions of poverty and disadvantages. Considering the very high levels of violence in this country, the effective treatment of violent youths is imperative.  Crime statistics in South Africa say that most of ‘youth violence’ is a result of either alcohol and drug abuse…or being bored and in most cases they indulge in this as a result of societal or peer pressure.

In order to tackle this challenge, on the 20th of July 2016, Simunye High Africa Unite’s School Club in Delft Township held its first school dialogue on peer pressure.


Tasreeq Fereira vice president of the AU school club welcoming fellow learners who attended the dialogue.

The cabinet invited 3 experts on the topic as guest speakers (Delft South African Police Service (SAPS) representative, City of Cape Town Sports & Recreation Department representative and one youth motivational speaker from the University of Western Cape.  The dialogue was entirely facilitated by the learners themselves ie, vice president and the minister of social development. 73 learners from various grades attended this interactive engagement.

After welcoming the participants, the school club members (President, Vice-President, Ministers, and Parliamentarians) were enthusiastic to lead a quick icebreaker to ease everyone into the topic of the day: peer pressure.


Constable Jacqueline Ruka of Delft South African Police Service (SAPS) giving her motivational speech on peer pressure.

To begin, the facilitator asked the participants to define peer pressure and its causes. All the respondents including the SAPS representative, who shared her opinion, mentioned the role of an external force (i.e. another person). The learners then developed their working definition of peer pressure as:

  • a social influence exerted to make someone conform to the expectations of the influencing individual or group.

To ensure that the participants understood “peer pressure,” they were asked to present 1 peer pressure cause and 2 examples on school level. The presenters were very motivational and even went beyond by sharing personal experiences and insights. The learners pinpointed a few causes of peer pressure as follows:

  • the desire to fit in as some learners are coming from very disadvantaged families. This makes them vulnerable to conformity as they try to be on the same level with others.
  • One learner, in particular, recognized that some female students were peer pressured into wearing shorter uniform skirts just to fit in.
  • The desire to find friend groups and friends also is another issue which was identified. Some groups have their own subculture, eg gangs, bullies etc. Hence in order to be one of them you have to act like them


    Some of learners presenting their recommendations on addressing peer pressure

City of Cape Town Sports and Recreation Dept. representative then shared a few motivational words on the power of youth activism and encouraged the learners to stay on the right path by continuing to pursue higher education and not give in to peer pressure.

Many questions and comments were made by the participants and following these discussions the Club members assigned the participants to go in groups and develop recommendations to address peer pressure in their school.  Below is some of the recommendations:

  • There is need to develop or invite more positive role models that can inflict positive peer pressure on learners
  • The school administration should adequately address and support school initiatives that addresses peer pressure and other issues affecting the learners
  • More capacity building training should be conducted with learners in order for them to be able to make moral choices and become defenders at school level
  • creating learners support groups where those undergoing peer pressure could openly express themselves
  • More dialogues of this nature at school level are needed, not only for peer pressure but other issues that learners are facing at school level

Learners engaging in a group discussion with the guidance of the SAPS representative.

To conclude, the club members assured the participants that these recommendations had created a working document for them because they would lobby various stakeholders who could assist on following up on the implementation recommendations.

The club members then thanked their 3 guests for their eye opening contributions and the learners for staying after-school and engaging in the dialogue.

For more pictures click here


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mandela Day in Marikana Informal settlement

On the 18th of July 2016 Africa Unite in partnership with the Marikina Township local leadership in Cape Town hosted a community cleanup campaign to commemorate Mandela Day. Marikana is a growing township between Nyanga, Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha and Philippi.


The state of sanitation in Marikana Township.

It has over 10 00 shacks but there is a serious challenge of water and proper sanitation as people still use portable toilets, environmental hygiene, housing, youth leadership etc. The event began with opening remarks by the community leaders who welcomed Africa Unite to Marikana and also spoke briefly about the purpose and importance of Mandela Day. The large group then walked through the settlement and picked up trash that was scattered around. The group attracted the attention of many community members including children


Andile Klaas Africa Unite peer educator from Marikana addressing the community after the clean up campaign.

who then joined in to help collect trash.

After picking up the trash, everyone returned to the church for concluding remarks and reflections.  One of Africa Unite’s peer educators living in Marikina then expressed his gratitude for Africa Unite. He also challenged the youth of Marikana to step up just like other youth in many townships that are initiating and implementing positive change in their own community. One of the community leaders also spoke and thanked Africa Unite for organizing the event and acknowledged that the youth must take initiative in order to continue developing the community. Finally, Africa Unite staff gave the community a word of encouragement urging them to be active and not only to wait for Mandela Day in order to do something good for their community or fight for their rights. We expressed our willingness to develop the relationship with the community of


Some of the Marikana community members and Africa Unite team taking a group photo next to a hip of waste bags full of trash they collected.

Marikana, however they also were encouraged to challenge service delivery institutions especially on water and sanitation because the people are living in dire conditions.

 For More pictures click here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2016 Anti-Xenophobia Youth Summit

On the 4th – 6th of July 2015, Africa Unite in partnership with CHUMA and the Cape Town Holocaust Center held its second annual Anti-Xenophobia Youth Dialogue at the Monwabisi Beach Resort in Khayelitsha.


Member of the National Parliament of the Republic of South Africa Honorable Bongani, K. Mkongi delivering his speech to the youth

With the support of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the National Youth Development Agency NYDA the summit was able to host over 50 local young people from different areas of Cape Town (Gugulethu, Kraaifontein, Phillipi, Nyanga, Belhar, Retreat, Woodstock, Heideveld, Bellville,Thornton, Bonteheuwell, Mitchell’s Plain, Eesteriver, Khayelitsha, Mandalay, Kuilsriver, Delft,Wynberg, Goodwood, New Crossroads) including migrants and refugees from countries such as Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.

During the 3 days various guest speakers came in to interact with the youth s as follows, (i) Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms. Nomaindiya Mfeketo, (ii) Member of the National Parliament of the Republic of South Africa Honorable Bongani, K. Mkongi, (iii) Department of Home Affairs representative (iv) Mr. Sihle Mthinyane and Advocate Penelope Magona, an Advocate at the Cape Town High Court.


Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms. Nomaindiya Mfeketo addressing the youth

On the first day, Michal Singer from the Cape Town Holocaust Center facilitated the first day session where she introduced the history of the Holocaust in a South African context and explored concepts relating to prejudice, racism, discrimination, propaganda, homophobia, Anti-Semitism, and the general war narrative.

On the second day, Africa Unite along with the Dept. of Home Affairs split the day into two sessions. In the first session, Africa Unite held an interactive human rights information session focused on the principles, categories, and limitations of human rights. The Dept. of Home Affairs took the second session focusing on individual rights of migrants and refugees, and the impact of xenophobia as a hindrance for advancing a culture of human rights. Following the two presentations, the youth were then divided into five groups representing the following African countries: (Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and Somalia). The five groups were tasked to develop mechanisms to roll back xenophobia in their respective countries in order to promote Africa Agenda 2063 as a form of presentation to the mock African Union panel.


Youth handing over the resolution to the deputy minister

On the last day, the groups made their presentations to the panel of judges made up of the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, the Cape Town Holocaust Center, CHUMA and Africa. The youth showcased their level of research on the topic and made different recommendations. However, the judges announced the best presentation of the 5 groups, which was the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In order to have a final working document the 5 groups worked together and developed the final 19 recommendations. These recommendations were read to the audience and handed over to the deputy minister Hon. Ms. Nomaindiya Mfeketo. After receiving the youth resolutions the deputy minister gave an enlightening speech where she emphasised on the importance of young people understanding the history of Africa in


Group photo after the training

detail. She mentioned that in South Africa, there was no major emphasis on knowing the history of Africa and it forms part of the reasons why we continue to see xenophobic related violence in many townships. She mentioned that the points listed in the resolutions were critical and she would like various government departments to get this, because this is a fundamental highway in promoting the aspirations of Agenda 2063

The office of the international relations was very impressed with the level of participation and engagement during the presentations. They then proposed that this summit should be rolled out in other provinces of South Africa, because many young people are not aware or do not have the same opportunity to engage on this issues on all levels of the society.


AU school club cabinet leaders with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation Liason Officer, Mr Seraki Matsebe

All the youth were thankful to the organizers for creating a safe space where they could debate their issues without fear or favor and most importantly engaging with various government and national leaders on such critical and sensitive topics.

For more pictures click here

To view the youth resolution click here

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Youth Day soccer tournament to promote gender equality

Youth Day in South Africa commemorates the bravery of students who defended their right to equal education during the 1976 Soweto Riots. Thursday, June 16th 2016 marked the 40th anniversary of their impact in transforming South African education.


Black Roses (girls) from Gugulethu entering the pitch

To celebrate Youth Day, Africa Unite (AU), partnered with the Gugulethu Sport Complex Facility Management Committee and stakeholders to hold a soccer tournament to bring Gugulethu youth together.  The tournament was held on June 16 2016 at the Gugulethu Sport Complex from 9am- 5pm. Over a 100 young people attended the tournament and cheered on their teams.

The purpose of the event was to foster a safe environment for both the female and male genders. Mixed gender teams were given the platform to participate in the tournament as a way of promoting gender equality.


Some of the youth and community members signing the commitment pledge

The event was opened by the Head Coach of the Gugulethu Indoor Soccer Club, Lungile Ntwanambi and the Singamakhalipha Programme Manager Silindokuhle Hlazo with a message uniting the young people to advocate for gender equality in their community.

10 teams were present and 9 matches played to the finals. The opening match was that of

the Black Roses (girls) for Gugulethu against Singamakhalipha (boys) in which the girls beat the boys team 6-0. In this match the Black Roses really showed that if given the opportunity and a lot of practice girls/ women can excel in sport.

The winners of the tournament left with the Cup and 8 individual trophies plus R1000 whilst the second runner ups left with a R500 prize.


Match day winners pause with their trophies and cheque

It was one Youth Day celebration well commemorated as much discipline and team work was shown by both team players and the spectators. After all the activities were concluded, the young men and women present went on to sign pledge committing them to leading community conversations that promote gender equality and social cohesion. We believe South Africa has a brighter future lying ahead if the energy and determination of the young people is directed to more positive activities such as these.

We would like to say a big thank you to the Gugulethu Indoor Soccer Club for working with us on this initiative.

For more pictures click here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Goodbye Emmanuelle, Johanna and Alexandra

Once again Africa Unite would like to give a special thanks to Emmanuelle Renault, Johaana Ahs and Alexandra Stonehouse who recently finished their internships in May 2016. Emmanuelle who is from France  was with us from September 2015 to May 2016. She was really outstanding and she became one of the key members of the Africa Unite team.  She was trained by Africa Unite alongside other local South African and African youth as a human rights peer educator in which she managed to facilitate a number of human rights information sessions in various disadvantaged communities.


Emmanuelle presenting her experience with Africa Unite.

Emmanuelle has a very long list of achievements, however one of those achievements include advocating for the rights of young girls and challenging abusive relationships in Blikkiesdorp informal settlement together with other Africa Unite peer educators. She was full of positive energy, a climate change activist and a very important all round team player as she was involved in all the day to day activities of Africa Unite including driving the organisation’s van.

Johanna who is from Sweden was equally impressive as she managed to achieve a lot in a short space of time.  She had a very mature  approach which made it very easy for her to work with people from all walks of life. She also has a big list of achievements,  some of these include being in charge of the Africa Unite High School clubs that are currently


Johanna presenting her experience with Africa Unite.

running in 5 high schools in Cape Town Township. The Africa Unite Clubs are meant to empower learners from various disadvantaged schools in townships in order for them to take leadership roles and boost their self esteem. She received a capacity building training on fundraising along with one of Africa Unite staff member in which they managed to organise a big fundraising event for one of our programmes  ( Singamakhalipha) that focuses on the rights of vulnerable children living in townships.

Alexandra who was born in South Africa and currently staying in Namibia and studying at the University of Cape Town quickly settled within the team very well. Though she only came to the office 2 days a week, her contribution was massive and proved to be very easy to work with. She  was involved in a number of projects and just like others she managed to achieve a lot in a short period. One of her highlights was conducting


Alexandra presenting her experience with Africa Unite.

interviews along with Africa Unite peer educators in Hanover Park and Delft Township for an impact assessment of our Community Conflict Mediation programme.Alexandra is  committed to social justice and she is big a gender activist. This was very clear as she managed to initiate and run a human rights session with a group of senior women in Hanover Park who are facing various challenges in their community.

Africa Unite will definitely miss the trio as they depart to their respective countries. As our tradition, they all promised to continue doing Africa Unite work and mentioned that this was not the last seeing them. Thank you once again  and we hope to see you soon back with us.

For more pictures of their presentations click here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment