1. Job title and more about yourself.
Edwin is an Anglican priest and social entrepreneur by profession in Hermanus butdescribes himself as wearing many hats. When speaking with Edwin, one can immediately sense his heart for the community.
2. Can you briefly name a few of the opportunities you had while growing up that made you the person you are today?
Edwin reflects on some of the key moments in his life and tells us about when he and his brother went to live with their aunt and uncle. Before this, Edwin and his brother had very little and arrived at school barefoot, with worn out clothes and their books in plastic bags. The shift after moving in with their aunt and uncle truly changed their lives to a huge extent, says Edwin. Edwin describes that after their aunt took them in, one of the first things that happened was that she bought them an entirely new wardrobe and prepped them for the school term. As the new school term started, even Edwin’s best friend didn’t recognise him. With neat hair, book bag, shoes and new clothes, Edwin describes the key moment in his life as an embodiment of a transformation from disharmony to harmony.
The second opportunity that Edwin describes as contributingto the person he is today, takes Edwin back to when he only 14 years old. A priest at church approached Edwin and told him that he could see Edwin as a priest one day too. And so, Edwin started his journey by reading out the notices every Sunday to a congregation of approximately 600 people. “I remember being extremely nervous at first,” says Edwin. But Edwin’s confidence grew,andheemphasised that he was ‘nurtured by many people’ who all contributed to where he is today.
3. Can you briefly describe your experience at in Harmonie?
Edwin describes in Harmonie as being a place that is filled with surprises. “We serve a God of surprises,” says Edwin. Edwin continues by saying that in Harmonie is a place where one can meet with God and your neighbour and spend quality time with both. The wonderful features of the space and the special moments shared with the people at in Harmonie truly initiate important conversations and contribute to the fact that in Harmonie is a place of change.
4. What do you think some of the challenges are in building a more harmonious South Africa?
Edwin believes that the biggest problem that we are still facing in South Africa is the vast inequality in our nation. “This inequality leads to disharmony,” says Edwin.
Edwin continues to describe that there is a big gap in our nation. “Feelings of resentment fill young people with anger as they start to desire what others have,” says Edwin. Edwin then continues by saying if we can eliminate that, we will move forward in the process of healing society. Edwin believes that this starts with education and ensuring that there is no more ‘township education,’emphasising the importance of high-quality schools in rural areas, allowing young people to grow up with more opportunities.
5. How do you think a person moves from a state of disharmony to harmony?
Edwin believes that the journey towards harmony starts with building integrity within one’s self. “Resilience is something we need to train like a muscle,” says Edwin. Edwin continues to say that as we face times of disharmony, our integrity, spirit and resilience will help us deal with situations appropriately.
6. Any words of advice or encouragement you would like to share with those who feel like they have lost hope.
Edwin shares words of encouragement and concludes by saying that one should look around and consciously make an effort to find and engage with people who are in fact at peace with themselves. Surrounding yourself with these people will help you realise and believe that there are people who achieve harmony and who can contribute towards your journey and that all things are possible.