During their visit to Cape Town, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex went to the Auwal Mosque where they interacted with six learners who have participated in the Interfaith Intercultural Youth Programme. Marlene Silbert gave a short overview of the programme and thereafter, the young people shared their experiences, spoke about the impact the programme has had on their lives, and their commitment to create a unified society in which we can all live together in peace and harmony.
(Photo above: Bashiera Parker, Channel24)
The Duchess said she was so emotionally moved to hear what the young people had said, and Prince Harry stated, ‘There are so many problems and hardships across the world, and it is truly heartening to listen to the voices of these young people who will become the leaders of tomorrow, and make this world a better place.’ While shaking our hands before departure, he said ‘I hope you will continue with this wonderful programme.’
(Photo above: Tim Rooke)
One of the learners, Banzi Bottoman, from Gardens Commercial High School had the following reflections to share from the experience:
Having met the royal dukedoms has been a very monumental moment in my life! As they entered the Mosque, my eyes grew ablaze to their graceful presence and humble appearance. For royals, they seemed rather welcoming, kind and very friendly. When it was my chance to speak, I spoke about how the interfaith programme has left an indelible mark in my life and how it managed to transform me from a ‘typical stereotypical’ individual to a non-judgemental and loving person, regardless of one’s religion, gender, race etc. And my focus was how stereotypes have been prevalent trait in society. I also referred to the dangers of conventional practices that are the predominant causes of fallacy in society. If I remember correctly, Prince Harry subsequently sang my praises and said that I spoke with passion, confidence and in a thought-provoking and intriguing manner.
I must say that it was a wonderful experience and all of us in the conversation successfully swept them of their feet with our thoughtfulness.
We were so incredibly proud of the learners for speaking from their hearts and sharing the important message of interfaith with the Duke and Duchess. Following this exciting event, Banzi, Imaad and Zaafierah were interviewed by Berry on Open Studio, on Cape Town TV. Watch what they had to say below!