Mwango the clown entertains the refugee children outside the Central Methodist Church. Pictures: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)
Cape Town - Refugee children whose lives have been upended by displacement and violence were treated to a special show on Tuesday.

Mungo the Clown, aka Mark Hurlin Shelton, put on his clown costume and make-up and for 25 minutes entertained the children and adults sheltered at the Central Methodist Church.

The refugees have since October lived in and around the church on Greenmarket Square, demanding that the UN High Commissioner on Refugees move them to First World countries.

Because the refugees have been split into two camps, Mungo had to perform two shows - one inside the church and one outside.

“Hello, Mr Mungo, you’re welcome,” screamed the children, signalling the beginning of the performance.

Mungo the Clown juggled a ball on a string, made the string float mid air and performed other tricks.

Laughter, screams and applause travelled through the area as Mungo went from one trick to the next.

Mungo ended his show with encouragement: “I pray that God keeps you safe and keeps your families together. I pray that you are freed from whatever sickness you may have and I pray that the people you need to find will find you to help you.”

Refugee mother of eight Caroline Shembi said this was the first time she had seen her children laugh like this since living inside the church and she wished Mungo could make regular visits.

“Our children cannot go outside. There are no parks. There’s nothing for them to do here, so I’m happy that Mungo came.”


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Cape Argus