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Prison Journalism: Change is good not easy!

Thabo Mthembu was incarcerated in Pollsmoor Prison from 2014 to 2019. Read Thabo’s story


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My life is forever going through changes, from birth to a new world. Never would I have thought I would have gone through all these different stages, finding love, losing it, being the good guy, becoming the bad guy, then learning from all those life lessons and trying to get on the right path again, while age plays a big role in life’s journeys. Not giving into what is, and becoming the change one wants to see in the world, no matter how hard the struggle.

A New Programme Started

Just started a job readiness programme last week that kind of opened my eyes. I have learnt that I am responsible for my life, like being on time for work and even how the world sees me. Even if there are people who don’t like me, as long as I deliver the best of who I am, I am on the right path. There will always be people who don’t like me, and those who will pretend to be friends and all they want to do is use and mislead me for their own gains.

Some will even pretend to be supportive and get me in the position so that they still have a hold on my life, which is kind of sad.

The Hardest Thing Learnt This Past Week

If I want to move forward, sitting with the past is a must, not meaning forgetting where I come from but not allowing the people or friends to affect the path my life’s direction is heading.

The Positives of the Week

Acknowledging the positive people in my life, even if my progress might seem slow, it’s the positive people who, even though they have their own things going on in their lives, always make time to check up on me. And there are just a few, and even more interestingly, my life weekly, sometimes they may even tell me truths about myself I don’t like to hear, and yet I am glad about that because it is the only way to improve myself as a person.

Been doing a lot of introspection, and there is still a lot for me to learn about myself so that I may grow. There are even old habits I need to get rid of and new ones I need to start up again. Don’t remember when the last time was, I read a book until the end, or even took myself out to a place where I was alone.

Quote for My Journey

I show up on time, at all times.

I show up no matter how I feel.

I show up prepared.

I show up ready to receive, to give.

I show up because I am responsible.

For my life and my success.

May God be the guiding force in all of our lives and in all that we do!

DISCLAIMER: Submission published as received

Should you wish to assist in the rehabilitation of former inmates and help put money into the pockets of those who have struggled to earn a living during and after incarceration, click HERE 

RESTORE is an NGO based in Cape Town, South Africa, providing inmates at Pollsmoor Prison with restorative justice opportunities.

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