Nontombi Naomi Tutu spoke at the Tutu Foundation Peace Summit 2016 hosted the Regents University London

Oct 25, 2021
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Tutu Foundation UK

The topic of the summit was ‘ International Peace Summit: Resolving Conflicts Through Mediation’ and the question being asked was ‘How can mediation resolve conflicts?’

At the event, Nontombi Naomi Tutu, daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu gave her insight into conflict mediation. She stated that “the wise build bridges and the foolish build walls”. ‘The lesson of the proverb is not about floods, but it’s about crises and times of conflict. The wise are those who reach out to try and find allies to reach across barriers to build a common ground and a common sense of humanity.’ 

Often in times of hardship and crisis, it is common for some in society to find others to blame, this simplistic and divisive reaction to problems can sometimes encourage clusters of people to build walls of hate and distrust, giving birth to an environment of negativity, and instead we should be building bridges to collectively looking for the source of the problem. 

Nontombi continues to say that “if you look at the way we tend to be socialised in our world, it is those who are other than us that appear to be so very different, that there’s something inherently different about them to us.” It is frequent for us to often associate things that are different to things that are wrong, when in fact they are simply just different. 

In times of conflict or dispute, we must sometimes take steps in order to reach a solution, and Nontombi continues by explaining that “the first step to take is to realise that they are as fully human as we are and they are not the ones who do all the bad things and we are not the ones who do all the good things; in all communities that is good and bad.”

If you would like to watch the full three minute video, you can do so by clicking here