This is an article published in the Wellington Independent Herald, written by journalist Glenise Dreaver.
Out of hatred, love has grown
Musa Daba, vicar of Churton Park’s Anglican church since last November, left Bermuda’s beauty and 10 years of its tropical warmth and sunshine to come to Wellington.
Musa says however, that he and his wife Levidia wanted somewhere to set roots, to raise their child Jessie in a safe place. “And I have cousins here.” He loves the simplicity of Churton Park and its church. “To worship in a school hall that is the centre of a community.” He appreciates too, the many nationalities here. He believes God wants him here to make a contribution, so he thought: “If that’s where you want me…’ “And I’m loving it.”
Musa is old enough, however, to remember the worst of South African apartheid. His vicar father was an activist who nearly paid with his life, and Bishop Desmond Tutu his mentor and friend. His father was several times imprisoned and tortured. Badly. Once, thirteen-year-old Musa was snatched near home, electrodes pushed into his palms and metal ear-pieces clamped on, with his younger brother looking on and crying for him. “And they just mocked.”
This set up huge rage, but his father was uncompromising when he talked about it – and the AK47 he wanted. Soon after his father’s detention Bishop Tutu sent for the Daba family to leave Uitenhage (just north of Port Elizabeth) to move to Cape Town, nearer him. “I found myself in a car in my school uniform. That fast.” In 1992, Musa describes distrustful meetings with two white boys, who persisted in inviting him to a Bible study. There he heard John 3, verse 16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…” “My life changed from then on”.
“Monumental“ realisation followed. “The idea of holding a grudge against someone seems so strange to me now.” He wasn’t the only one to change. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, chaired by Bishop Tutu, was another factor creating space for real confession and forgiveness. And the 1995 Rugby World Cup also changed everything overnight. “The first time black and white flew the Springbok flag, sang that wonderful anthem together.”