Alfiado Zunguza is a Mozambican peace advocate and founder of the JustaPaz peacebuilding organization. Zunguza grew up in the midst of Mozambique’s 15-year civil war between the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) and the Mozambique Resistance Movement (RENAMO) political parties. The violent civil war was responsible for a million deaths and five million people displaced. Although the war officially ended in 1992 it has been a long road to reconciliation between the various sides in Mozambique. Alfiado was left without a mother at the age of six and he grew up bouncing between relatives in a search for in an effort to find security and continue his education. In 1996, Alfiado met some volunteers from the Mennonite Central Committee who were working with a local church to perform conflict resolution and reconciliation in the area. As a result of his contact with the volunteers, Alfiado would go on to attend the Eastern Mennonite University Summer Peacebuilding Institute later that year.
Upon his return to Mozambique, Zunguza first set up JustaPaz as a department within his church to continue his efforts in peace work. The following year Alfiado was offered the chance to become a full-time master’s student in the field of conflict transformation back in the United States at EMU. The decision to pursue his education further meant that he would temporarily have to leave his wife and two young daughters at the time. Encouraged by his wife Carla to pursue the once in a lifetime opportunity, Alfiado followed through with his education. Upon completion of his studies, Zunguza once again returned to Mozambique and has since grown JustaPaz into one of the most influential and active peace organizations in Africa today. Zunguza has long believed that the recovery of Mozambique requires the participation of people from all levels of society and that conflict transformation requires specific areas such as ethnic relations, labor unrest, and crime among other areas. JustaPaz, under Zunguza’s direction, has seen its annual operating budget grow to roughly half a million dollars and continues to receive support from several other international organizations as well as maintaining close ties to the United Methodist Church.
Illustration by HanJoon Kim
In Mozambique, there are tons of leftover weapons and landmines from the 15 year-long civil war. Local artists have begun to use these weapons as a medium to create new art. This illustration of Alfiado Zunguza was inspired by this unique art form. Like old rusty guns can be transformed into beautiful pieces of art, Alfiado makes efforts to change Mozambique to be a better place with his commitment to conflict resolution.
801,590 km2 (42nd)
Unitary semi-presidential republic