I was walking in the streets of Soweto the other day and i saw happy toddlers playing hide and seek. These kids are so happy about life, they have no worries none what so ever. As long as they see their friends and everyone smiling then it’s all good, this is what life is all about for them. And something hit me, the thought of those who are in prisons serving their time because they murdered or raped at a tender age of 15 upwards, i wondered, what had went wrong? What was so bad that drove them to those decisions?
On the year 2008 i visited the Krugersdorp Prison with the learners of Hoerskool Die Adelaar which used to be the high school i went to. We were given a chance to sit down with some of those prisoners and have a small conversation, ask questions and however remember where we were, they were male prisoners. And i remember having a conversation with a young man, in his 20s. He was held for rape. He said “don’t be scared, i am caught, what could I possibly do to you?” I wasn't sure whether to feel sorry for him when i saw him chained like that or be angry at him for destroying those women he took advantage of. So i asked him, how many women he rape and why, what were his reason and by brief I’ll quote what he said...
“i have a poor background and i was raised by my mother and at grandma`s house. In my early teenage years i asked mom about my dad and she would point out any man walking by without looking twice and say “it could be him”. At first i thought she was joking but this went on for days and months and a year, this other time i was sitting alone at night there by the gate, her friend came onto me, seduced me and when i kept pushing her away she said to me “no wander your father ran, you are just like him, don’t know how to make a woman happy...” that bruised me. After some days i met a girl, i was 16 then, i learned how to love a woman, she was my everything; until she aborted my baby and did not tell me, i found out through her sister, she had no shame in what she did. My hate for women grew then. I never again wanted to see a happy women, i drank the other time, came home pap drunk. I wanted to hear my mother cry and beg for her life so i thought what could i possibly do, as i was drinking my last bottles her friend came looking for her again, she looked sexy so i slept with her, she claimed i forced myself into her but she knows she wanted it... let me cut the story short seeing that you will leave to see the niggas at the other cell, i am a 25 year old man, i hate women with a passion, i raped my mother, i raped my ex girlfriend and gave her a child, i raped my mother’s friend twice and i raped women i came across at night, i had to make them feel my manhood, i am a man not the one my father was, but the man i am. No woman can tell me that i am less of a man. Women disgust me. No woman can take away my pride. Women drink, smoke, hit men, steal from men and do all sorts of things a man does and claim to be better; i am the man in this circle. Women must know”
I was shocked, i was traumatised. I could not believe my eyes and ears. He had no shame and remorse at all. He had no shame in his doing, and by the way he told me his side of the story one would expect him to do the same if he had to come out of prison. The other cells i went to, yes i did have conversations with the prisoners and heard the questions the scholars were asking but back in my mind i was still on the cell i had started at.
Being a 20 year old young woman myself, having to hear someone speak so confidently about killing another woman’s identity like that with a reason, i just couldn't take it...
I ask myself, are all these crimes done because of harsh reasons behind? Where does it go wrong because a child is born and raised to be the best they can be? Do we grow up lacking motivation or some sort of good mentors or examples... do we blame the environment we grow up in because there aren’t really good advocates around us to talk us into studying further than quitting in 3rd year in LLB? Ok maybe it is our parents, raising a child in a bad environment shouldn’t mean the environment comes inside your household and control the way you raise your kids. If you raise your child in an abusive home, i think it is pretty clear what kind of an adult that child is ought to be.
“He, who opens a school door, closes a prison”
Twitter - @AngelKubheka
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