The Parkwood community has had to endure multiple shootings and robberies over the past few weeks, and residents have convened to rise up against gang violence in the area. These brave community members have organised a series of marches that took place over the weekend, IOL reports.
The most recent march happened on Wednesday evening at Masjidus-Sabr Mosque which was organised by frustrated community members and a local youth development organisation called Rise Up.
People from all walks of life showed their support including members who have suffered the loss of a loved one to gang violence in the area. According to IOL, Police spokesperson Joseph Swartbooi said that Grassy Park police were on standby to ensure the safety of almost 100 people who attended the march.
Parkwood Youth representative and Rise Up chairperson Abduragiem Adams said that gang rivalry in the area has been hectic recently and it was beginning to affect the youth in the area which forced them to take matters into their own hands.
“As the shooting progressed over the past few weeks, the youth were insistent that something be done about the violence. We then got together with the street watch and other community members and we decided to host a series [of] marches against the ongoing gang violence, rape, shootings and robberies in Parkwood,” said Adams.
Meanwhile, a group of Mitchells Plain youth came together in a similar movement but added a creative spin to taking back their community. According to News24, they engaged in painting over gang signs in the neighbourhood.
Nafeesah Abrahams, who is 25 years old, founded The Stratus Youth Project and explained to News24 how she is trying to restore the community by beautifying the walls.
“What started as a group of kids running with me to the beach became an eye opener for me to start a project with kids in the area to keep them occupied and busy,” she said.
The children in the group partake in a weekly street clean-up and use their skills and creativity to remove the gang signs by repainting the walls.