Mlungisi’s* Story

My name is Mlungisi* and I am from Pietermaritzburg*. I was raised by my grandmother with her pension. This was because my mother’s hearing was damaged when she was young, due to her teeth having being removed. This resulted in her leaving school prior to completion. As a result of this I could not have a proper conversation with my mother.

Seeing the many difficulties my grandmother experienced was very troubling. I always asked about my father and she told me that he had another family and was married to someone else. My father was employed at a big company and my mother was not made aware about this marriage and his other family.

I used to ask myself why my father had not taken care of me and my older sister who had stayed with my Aunt from a young age. Subsequently, I grew up with a lot of hatred towards my father and growing older meant more expenses. I needed money for school, uniforms, books etc.

This lead to me feeling depressed and thinking that I was a mistake, since my parents were not married. I had no purpose. Then in Grade 10, I started smoking cigarettes in an effort to try and fit in. I could not register for Grade 12 since I did not have the proper identification documents. Therefore, my Grandmother and I had to go back and forth to the Department of Home Affairs – costing her much money.

I then started smoking dagga and drinking alcohol in Grade 12. I had no hope and no vision. Nonetheless, I eventually received my Identity Book, but my first name and the date of birth were incorrect. My Grandmother said maybe they wanted me to get pension early!

I failed Grade 12 and decided to study to be a fashion designer. After studying I worked as a fashion designer in Johannesburg.* As the money started coming in, I began clubbing and using ecstasy. The drug dealer who I bought ecstasy from started telling me about other drugs that he sold and I bought crack cocaine and heroin from him and started selling it myself to make more money.

What I was selling, I would also smoke because it was so easily accessible now. Things got worse and I lost my job. Then I started smuggling drugs into prison. When I was caught, I was banned from that prison.

In 2016, I was caught in possession of crack cocaine. Fortunately, my uncle bailed me out for R5000. Things got worse and I started stealing from home, shops, robbing people and hijacking cars. My grandmother tried to intervene. My mother would cry a lot because of my lifestyle and the community was getting tired of me. It came to a point where I had to make a decision, since I had many pending cases and a lot of people wanted to take my life.

I heard about CYPSA, where they told me that God would forgive me and help me if I humbled myself and truly seek Him above all. I began to earnestly confess all of the wrong that I had done in my life and for the first time I felt total joy, peace and happiness.

I have forgiven my father and made right with my grandmother. I now have a good relationship with my family. After a year at CYPSA I went back to court and by God’s grace I was only given a suspended sentence of five years for all the drug-related charges which were pending against me. I have such a blessing of God over my life, that I even felt the presence of God in court that day!

I am currently working and continue to make my life right with God’s help.

* Places, names and identifying details of individuals have been changed to protect their privacy.


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