Ex-con passionate about reform

2019-04-16 06:01
Rashaad Allan believes that the future is brighter for the youth, but community leaders need to step in and motive them.

Rashaad Allan believes that the future is brighter for the youth, but community leaders need to step in and motive them.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Reformed ex-convict from Parkwood has decided to turn his life around and be the light his community needs.

Rashaad Allan (48) shares with the People’s Post the lessons he learned while he was living the life of a notorious gangster and how much time he wasted. It is something he says he does not wish for any of the young men and women in his community hence he has stood up and stretched out his helping hand.

Expelled from school at the age of 12, Allan was arrested and spent 20 years and three months in prison for various crimes he committed that included armed robbery and carjacking. He says he was a cold-blooded and feared gang member who could get anything he wanted.

“In my words, I would say I was my own gang and in prison, I was the top gang,” Allan reveals.

He remembers an incident where, with his cronies, they hopped onto a train and robbed people of their belongings. He, being the cold-hearted one, then decided to take the train driver’s seat, tie him down with a rope, hold him (the driver) and drove the train on his own.

“I drove the train from Crawford to Koeberg train station,” he shares, adding that when he arrived there, he jumped out and ran, leaving the traumatised train driver to figure out how to release himself.

He was such a hardcore criminal that he was sent to various maximum security prisons in the Western Cape.

A turning point for him was in 2000 when he participated in the Restorative Justice Programme at the prison. The programme gave him an opportunity to face his victims and beg for their forgiveness.

“I met up with receptionists, wage clerks and I promised them that when I get out of prison, I would be a changed man who would help those who needed help,” Allan said. This is the promise he made to the numerous people he had once hurt.

They were from the companies he had broken into and demanded keys to enter safes or to any other areas (where money was kept).

The reformed former convict now works as a behaviour interventionist under the Department of Education. His message to the people is clear:

“You have no one to help you but yourself,” he motivates, also adding that people should practice what they preach.

In an effort to do that he also shown that he indeed is a changed man. He runs a half-way house which offers temporary shelter to released prisoners who sometimes have nowhere to go or are not ready to face their communities. He also runs a rehab centre, with the help of professional doctors, nurses and social workers.

Also, as part of his community work, he has a safe house which helps to house released prisoners.

He says he runs all these care facilities out of his pockets and appeals to anyone who would like to offer support for the cause to help, in any way.

Even though he runs these centres in his community, he sometimes visits Hanover Park to address the youth about the dangers of gangsterism.

Because he feels if he had such a figure when he was growing up, he would not have followed the criminal route.

Paul Phillips, a community leader who works closely with Allan to help spread the message of positivity and guidance to young men and women, patted him on the back for his work.

“There is a great need for these kinds of leaders, considering his background of being a former gang leader,” he said. He also congratulated him for his work in their community and also wished that he could continue serving their community. V To support his work, call 076 467 4912.

Reformed ex-convict from Parkwood who has decided to turn his life around and be the light his community needs.

Rashaad Allan (48) shares with the People’s Post the lessons he learned while he was living the life of a notorious gangster and how much time he wasted. It is something he says he does not wish for any of the young men and women in his community hence he has stood up and stretched out his helping hand.

Expelled from school at the age of 12, Allan was arrested and spent 20 years and three months in prison for various crimes he committed that included armed robbery and carjacking. He says he was a cold-blooded and feared gang member who could get anything he wanted.

“In my words, I would say I was my own gang and in prison, I was the top gang,” Allan reveals.

He remembers an incident where, together with his other cronies, they hopped onto a train and robbed people of their belongings. He, being the cold-hearted one, then decided to take the train driver’s seat, tie him down with a rope, hold him (the driver) and drove the train onhis own.

“I drove the train from Crawford to Koeberg train station,” he shares, adding that when he arrived there, he jumped out and ran, leaving the traumatised train driver to figure out how to release himself.

He was such a hardcore criminal that he was sent to various maximum security prisons in the Western Cape.

A turning point for him was in 2000 when he participated in the Restorative Justice Programme at the prison. The programme gave him an opportunity to face his victims and beg for their forgiveness.

“I met up with receptionists, wage clerks and I promised them that when I get out of prison, I would be a changed man who would help those who needed help,” Allan said. This is the promise he made to the numerous people he had once hurt.

They were from the companies he had broken into and demanded keys to enter safes or to any other areas (where money was kept).

The reformed former convict now works as a behaviour interventionist under the Department of Education. His message to the people is clear:

“You have no one to help you but yourself,” he motivates, also adding that people should practice what they preach.

In an effort to do that he also shown that he indeed is a changed man. He runs a half-way house which offers temporary shelter to released prisoners who sometimes have nowhere to go or are not ready to face their communities. He also runs a rehab centre, with the help of professional doctors, nurses and social workers.

Also, as part of his community work, he has a safe house which helps to house released prisoners.

He says he runs all these care facilities out of his pockets and appeals to anyone who would like to offer support for the cause to please help, in any way.

Even though he runs these centres in his community, he sometimes visits Hanover Park to address the youth about the dangers of gangsterism.

Because he feels if he had such a figure when he was growing up, he would not have followed the criminal route.

Paul Phillips, a community leader who works closely with Allan to help spread the message of positivity and guidance to young men and women, patted him on the back for his work.

“There is a great need for these kinds of leaders, considering his background of being a former gang leader,” he said. He also congratulated him for his work in their community and also wished that he could continue serving their community. V To support his work, call 076 467 4912.

NEXT ON NEWS24X

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.

Inside News24

 
Traffic Alerts
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.