New status as an upright man worthwhile for former criminal

2018-02-01 06:00

Please help me!

For I need to know how we, as communities define role model. What traits should these people possess and of what standing should they be in our community?

Also, why would anyone be called such and in whose interests are they role models.

These kind of questions play over and again in my mind.

In my books, a role model should be somebody who has risen against all odds to be a better person.

It is a person who, whenever they fall, picks themselves up and soldiers on. Failure to them, is the moment of not being to rise up again after hitting the ground.

That one person to me, is the co-owner of the shop at the corner of NY 115 and NY 108. He is affectionately known as “Kop”, or, to some, “Kingston”.

The gentleman has had his fair share of life’s trials and tribulations.

He has been there, done that and got the t-shirt.

I am convinced he has fully paid his dues to the community, even though his victims were never weak and or poor. He never took from our deprived and dispossessed masses. This is not to glorifying his past actions though, as crime is an abominable act or conduct.

In all this, Kop is now a respectable lay minister. A changed man with a beautiful and wonderful wife. Still friendly as ever. Whenever I engage him, he never ceases to amaze me.

He is earning my respect every time I converse with him.

This is a person I believe should be put on the pedestal and be given resources so that he can reach out to our lost children.

This is a person who can positively influence our children as he will be speaking from experience.

I am convinced, children will identify with him and will want to change their ways, as he has done.

Crime and to a greater extent drugs, is killing our children. There will be no future for our children lest we do something.

I challenge our community based organisations to make use of this gentleman and see whether positive results will not be yielded. We need all the help we can get to fight crime and to regenerate our moral fibre. People like Kop will deliver.

Andile ‘Sfuba’ Tapile Gugulethu

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