My name is Asiphesi. I was born on 16 October 1991 in East London, Eastern Cape. I was the last of three children raised by a single parent. I was full of life as a child, my mother tried her best to provide everything she could by taking me to the best schools she could. In Primary School I was always a hyper active child, and doctors told us that I suffered from ADHD. So at age 11 I began attending Behaviour Classes. My mother moved to the UK to start a job there, leaving me with my eldest sister and this wasn’t easy.

I started misbehaving so much that my sister decided to take me to my Aunt’s house to live with them. By the age of 13 my behaviour had become much worse and my mother then decided to take me to the UK. So I moved to England with her and started school there after having dropped out mid-year in South Africa. I was happy to be living with my mother again.

However, I used to be home alone most of the time because mum had to work, and that’s when I began to bunk school and smoke cigarettes and doing all the wrong things. I wanted to fit in with the others and I started using dagga at the age of 14.

My mother began to notice my behaviour, and I would apologise promising to never do it again knowing that I was just saying it to make her happy. My situation began getting much worse when I started not coming home for a day after smoking dagga. I had started stealing and shoplifting and would be arrested and then not tell my mother.

At age 15, my mother had met my step dad and when I met him for the first time, I was not happy with that. So because I was such a naughty kid and misbehaving all the time, my mum decided to move in with my stepdad so that he could keep an eye on me when my mum was at work. That just made me angrier. I started not listening to stepdad and listened to my friends instead. That is when I began doing serious crimes like robbing people with my friends with weapons.

To fit into this gang of robbers I wanted to prove a point and we decided to rob a shop and I forced my way into the shop and it all went wrong. I was caught on the surveillance cameras. I was arrested and charged with Armed Robbery, and in the UK they take this crime very seriously, and I now had to tell my stepdad that I had to appear in court and begged him not to tell my mother.

However, while on bail I still continued doing robberies. At age 16, I went to Youth Court with my stepdad as an A-List Offender due to the severity of my case. I was convicted and sentenced to 10 months, 5 months in custody and 5 months suspended. So my stepdad had to tell my mother and she was heartbroken.

After I got released I had more charges against me and was facing more time in prison so I decided to run and go back to South Africa without telling my mother and stepdad. I rang them from the airport just before I boarded and left. I was leaving home and was still living and doing wrong. I arrived in South Africa and immediately began using crystal meth (tik) and began stealing from my family. This is the type of life I now led up until this year (2017).

Earlier this year I was arrested for beating up someone that I lent my sound system too. I was found guilty of Grievous Bodily Harm. After being in custody for four months, I was given a suspended sentence and it was at this point when a family friend told me about CYPSA and their belief that God could change my life.

So I decided to change my life and my ways. I came to CYPSA with a hard heart, but God has been working in my life ever since. I am blessed to be here and my life has changed so much and I thank the Lord for that because he continues to bless me. My family is so proud of me and they see this big step I have taken and they see the change within me and our relationship has been restored.