Changing lives

2015-05-05 06:00

At least one life of a self-confessed gangster and drug addict may change.

This comes after the Department of Community Safety (Docs) visited the Lavender Hill community on Thursday 19 March.

During the introduction of the youth programme offered to youth aged between 18 and 35, one man stood up and told his story of wanting to make use of the opportunity presented to the gang-ridden community.

The 28-year-old man, who requested to remain anonymous out of fear of victimisation, stood up to tell his story to youth who filled the Lavender Hill Civic Centre.

“I was presented with an opportunity to equip myself with skills at the Chrysalis Academy when I was 16 years old. I went there but within the first week, I decided the programme wasn’t for me. So I ran away,” he recalled.

While addressing the group who gathered in the community centre he recounts his life decisions.

Jemayne Andrews and official from Docs listened patiently as she called order in the room after the room erupted for a few seconds.

“I want us all to listen to his story. He knows exactly what the impact of his choices were and has chosen to come out here today to come share his story,” Andrews said.

He was asked to continue with his story when the man said he wanted help to better his life.

“I am tired of living this life. Both my parents have passed away and I have nowhere to go. I don’t even have a fixed address because my aunt and uncle put me out of my parents’ council-owned home due to me smoking drugs,” he said.

He added that he got caught up in drugs and gangsterism from a very young age.

“I am going to be honest and say that I am a gangster and I use drugs but I am tired of this life. I want to do something better with my time,” he added.

When asked what he does for a living, he says he does not have a job at the moment but worked as a general labourer.

“But I don’t work at the moment. Ek is ‘n bendelid [I am a gangster].”

Andrews offered help to the young man through the provincial department’s youth programme, which he welcomed.

“I would really appreciate it if you could help me steer my life in another direction. I don’t want to stand on street corners anymore and harass the public for money,” he added.

While listening to his story, Andrews fought back her tears and said: “This is what this programme is all about.”

“We want to present our youth with opportunities so they may better their lives. Even if we just help one life here today it will be enough for me,” she said.

Ewald Botha, provincial community safety minister Dan Plato’s spokesperson, says the coalition with the department and community is important to ensure the safety of the youth.

“The department understands the necessity for our youth to be safe and to have access to opportunities and development at safe venues. That is why our interventions and meaningful partnerships across the board seek to help communities create safer environments and for the youth to have safer alternatives available to them,” Botha says.

V

What are your thoughts? Starting with the word “Post”, SMS your views to 32516. SMSes cost R1

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.