Meet Noma

2022 Friendship Games Ambassador from South Africa

July 24, 2022
Updated October 3, 2022

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Noma FG 2022 2

My name is Nomacebo, but you know, it’s a little difficult for some people to pronounce it properly, so my friends call me Noma. I live with my grandmother in Umlazi, and it does get tough to be honest, but things like PeacePlayers keep me going and I’ve made it so far that I’m the Head Deputy Program at my school (a type of student supervisor). Where I live, you can get exposed to lots of different talents, lots of dancers, lots of music artists, such as myself. I’m also a musician — hip hop all the way. I rap and I go by the name N. Code. But I’m always indoors, because it’s not that safe, to be honest, and there’s a lot of gun violence.

Q: What's the one thing that you'd want people to know about you?

That I am a hip hop artist.

Q: Do you have a special talent that most people don't know about?

I’m a dancer. Not a lot of people know that about me, and I’m also good in poetry. And I can draw - I draw anime.

Q: Who's your hero? Why?

It’s my mother. My mother has sacrificed so much for me. She’s been with me through it all, and she’s so patient with me. She bends over backwards just to help me and to get me through whatever I’m going through, to calm me down and find solutions to my problems, and get through life. She is my pillar when I am weak and my muse when I am in search of inspiration, and she's my best friend!!

Q: What do you think are the most important attributes of a leader?

Good listening skills, that’s number one for me. And being open minded. Being keen on understanding other people’s views, other people’s needs and how they feel about certain things. And having the ability to solve those problems and put it together for everyone so that it benefits everyone. That has worked for me.

Q: What are you most looking forward to about Friendship Games?

I’m looking forward to the cuisine and most importantly, the PeacePlayers family from other sites that I’m going to meet.

Q: Will it be your first time on an airplane? In another country? If so, what are you looking forward to about visiting another country? How do you feel about traveling abroad without your family?

Yes, it’s my first time. I’m most looking forward to the food! And the change of scenery, to see how other people are living, the things they do on a daily basis, and all their cultures and the things they find important, you know? Special things about their country. To be honest, I’m not scared at all. I’m so excited. You know, I love my family and all, but sometimes you gotta say BYE!

Q: Is there anything you're nervous or unsure about going to the Friendship Games?

There’s nothing I’m nervous about, to be honest. I’m so excited. I can’t wait, I really can’t wait.

Q: Why do you think PeacePlayers wants to bring together 130 young people from around the world?

I've witnessed this - it can break a whole lot of barriers between the youth, between us. Barriers of language, barriers of race, and all of the stereotypes that have been a part of our lives for so long. Like, I’ve witnessed this with PeacePlayers. So, that’s the aim – change and betterment.

Q: If you could do anything you wanted when you grew up, what would it be/what's your biggest dream for the future - for yourself, for your family, for your community?

I so definitely want to travel… to the USA, Tokyo – yes, I want to go to Japan, China… Europe, all of that. And also, getting a degree in engineering, furthering my studies.

Q: What's it like in your city/town/neighborhood? How would you describe it to someone who's never been there?

There are a lot of talented people who are driven and ambitious.

Q: If you could time travel for one hour, where would you go? What would you do?

I’d travel to the future and see how things are, so I’ll know what to and what not to do now.

We followed up with Noma during the Games to hear about her experience in real time. Here’s what she had to say! 

Q: So, Noma, what’s the most Important thing that you've learned this week, so far?

So, I'm Christian, right? I learned so much, things that I didn't even know about my own religion.

Q: What did you learn about your religion, and how did you come to learn it?

Like, I got clarification on a lot of things in the Bible that I didn't really pay attention to [in the past]. Everything with Jesus, with Mary, everything with other religions as well. Like how we share this common goal to worship God, even though we do it differently.

Q: So where did you learn that stuff? What were you doing?

So yeah, it was the tour in the Old City of Jerusalem. We had a tour guide showing us Jesus's tomb, his grave, everything. And the place where they pray, the holy places. And other religions as well. Also, we went to the Western Wall, the Wailing Wall. And there were people praying. And then I got to put a note, there's like this note that you write, it's a prayer and then you put it in the wall. So I even got to do that, even though it's not my religion. So, yeah, that's the most important thing I learned this week.

Q: And what's the significance for you? Like learning those things. Like what does it mean to you to know that stuff for yourself or for learning about other people?

To be honest, I feel like all of us. Well, the different religions and all. We are different, like in the way that we worship. But we have this common, common goal like to worship God. We just do it differently.

Q: So, have you made any friends from other sites this week? What do you like about them? And do you have anything in common?

Yeah, I got to make a lot of friends from other sites. Like for example, from Cyprus, this friend that I made is Muhturrem. And the things that we have in common is the love for music. Well, she likes heavy metal. Yeah. I'm like, so interested with the guitar and all of that. And from the U.S. as well. Oh, and Danica [from Baltimore]. To be honest, we were talking about the different types of genres we like. And she's from the USA and most of my favorite artists are from the USA, so we started talking like that.

Q: Where did you meet Danica? Where did you meet, the bus?

Yeah, they put us [on the bus] together and that's how we started talking and connecting.

Q: And how have the Friendship Games compared so far to your other PeacePlayers experiences in South Africa?

You know, this experience, it's the best, to be honest. I've never had an experience like this, especially in such a holy place. Well, that's what I believe. That Jerusalem is such a holy place. You know, my family was so happy. I feel so blessed to be here and walk on the ground.

Q: And like, when you think about the other things you have done with peace players in the past, like the citywide tournament, girls tournament and stuff like this, how is this different from what you've done in South Africa?

It's different because with everything, all the other activities that we have done in PeacePlayers, I never really got to leave South Africa. So for me, this is so big. It's my first time leaving South Africa. You know, that first interview [the pre-Friendship Games interviews with storytelling ambassadors], I was so excited and. So I still am. I'm just so sad that in a couple of days I have to be going back.

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