“He lived among us”

By Gugulethu Dlamini

Gugulethu DlaminiBishop Mandlenkhosi Zwane was a man who overcame a number of barriers to justice and peace, including the following:

Cultural indifferences – through his support, vision and caring ministry to both South African and Mozambican refugees as well as the SADC region.

Conceptual difficulties – by welcoming the idea of the community extension programme He was delighted by the community extension programme facilitated by Prof. Stan of eSwatini, and he requested that the initiative be extended to his church. But then, he realised he needed skills on the programme, so he requested permission from his church to attend a course on community extension programmes.

Selfishness – In the sense that As a bishop with powers bestowed in him, he could have had his own interests served first but he chose to live in simplicity and closeness to those who assisted him. He mixed so easily with all types of people: old and young, learned and illiterate, and the saint and the sinner. His developmental strategies to overcome poverty in communities.

Lack of proper education – by facilitating building of schools and supported both formal and informal education.

As young persons, we have fallen in love with this man because in all what he did there were no traits of violence. Maybe he conceived that violence is never an answer but brings momentarily results. As the youth of today, we cannot resort to violence as a way of attaining justice and peace as it is both vicious and impractical.

Violence is never a solution to social problems; instead, it leads to the birth of new and more complex ones. It seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than coming to a rapport. It is usually driven by hatred rather than love, and it violates the great commandment of love in accord with Christ our Lord.

Violence destroys the society and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves the society in monologue rather than dialogue. It creates bitterness in the survivor and brutality in the perpetrator.

Although the calls for better education, employment, right to human dignity and justice by the youth and public at large can never be diluted, still violence is not an answer. We are left with no option other than nonviolence.

Nonviolence is a word that symbolises the spirit and the outward form of our encounter. In a broader perspective, nonviolence means not relying on arms and weapons to ensure amicability is achieved. We are mindful of the fact that nonviolence means that our people in agony would take suffering upon themselves instead of inflicting it on others.

Nonviolence also seeks to redeem the spiritual and moral lag and the respect to human dignity. We have a role to play as the youth through nonviolence. We seek to secure moral ends through moral means such as peaceful marches. We believe nonviolence is the most powerful weapon that cuts without wounding, and ennobles the man that uses it.

If, Bishop M. Zwane lived amongst us and overcame the above obstacles without using violence, it is possible even in our time to resolve our social issues without violence. He lived amongst us. Let his memory live.

Youth address at the 2022 Bishop Zwane Memorial Lecture
21 May 2022