FAKE ID SENT ME TO PRISON
I grew up in a very poor family in Zimbabwe and I felt it was my responsibility to save my family from poverty. My mother sold beer to put food on the table for us. She could not afford to pay school fees and buy proper school uniforms for us. I started drinking traditional beer at an early age and as a result, dropped out of school when I was in grade eight. I then tried looking for a job, but couldn’t find one. I was a young boy trying to help my family. Things got worse when my mother died of TB. This put pressure on me as I had to take over and provide for my siblings and their children.
MOVING TO THE CITY
I decided to move to Johannesburg, hoping that this would change our situation. I had friends in the city who gave me a place to stay. But these friends had a secret life. To get by they robbed people and forged ID documents to open different accounts. I know this was wrong, yet out of desperation I joined them in their fraud.
I opened my first account in a clothing shop with a fake ID and that was my ticket to prison. After the investigation, I was found guilty because my signatures were different and I had provided false information.
A DECISION IN PRISON
I came back to my senses when I was alone in prison. Then and there I decided I wanted to change. A friend paid my bail and I started looking for a good, honest job. I found one as a security guard. My girlfriend invited me to the Universal Church. I prayed every Monday for God to help me in my fi nances. I also prayed for my family on Thursdays.
BECOMING A FAMILY MAN
Even though it took time, my life changed more than I expected. I married Lindiwe and we now have two sons and own our own house.
In 2002, God inspired me to venture into business. I install computers and CCTV cameras for different government departments. I now have eight people working for me. I also have two cars: a 4×4 Nissan Hardbody and Ford Bantam. Universal News spoke to Trust’s friend, Jorum who met Trust before he came to the church. “I met Trust in 2001. Even though he worked, an unemployed person was far better than him. He lived a hand to mouth life in an open space without furniture. He sometimes went for days without food. However things changed when he started attending the church. His blessings came from every corner. His business is doing very well. I saw the power of God in his life,” said Jorum.
By: Sibongile Mazibuko
HAPPY AT LAST!
Constance always believed that perseverance was the key to success and her experiences proved that all she needed to succeed was faith. She was a mother of five and a housewife. All that changed when her husband died of cancer in 1997. “His company offered to pay for the house but, only paid half of the balance,” said Constance.
She had to face the possibility of the house being repossessed. “I left four children in Giyani and came to Johannesburg with my youngest daughter to find a job. I stayed with my mother.We had no food. I remember taking the last coins that she had in the house and buying mealie-meal. We ate soft porridge every day. My other children depended on our neighbours for food,” said Constance. “In 2003, I was invited to the UCKG where I learned to be independent and to trust God with my life. I started applying for positions in government institutions even though I did not have qualifi cations,” said Constance. As she continued taking part in the chains of prayer on Mondays for her fi nances to improve, she found her first job as a teacher.
Later she heard about the Campaign of Israel in the church. “I became faithful to God and I believed He would bless me. I was given a promotion to not only teach but also to be in charge of the whole school. I was able to bring all my children to stay with me in Johannesburg,” she said. Constance went back to Giyani to follow up on her house and was surprised to discover that the outstanding balance had been settled. She then went into business and recently bought a yard and machines to manufacture bricks. “Three of my children have university qualifi cations and are now working. The other two are still in high school. I have two cars, a Hyundai and a Toyota Corolla Impact,” Constance said.
By: Nomsa Masengemu
TAXI DRIVER CHANGES COURSE
Over the years South Africa’s minibus taxis have developed a reputation for reckless driving, rudeness and violence. Many taxi drivers are seen to disobey the rules of the road with some beating and even killing people. When German Gama became a taxi driver, he also adopted many of their bad habits. “I lived with my uncle who was a taxi owner. He gave me a job washing his minibuses. He later taught me how to drive and made sure that I got my driver’s licence. I did what all the other drivers did. I drove recklessly, crossed red lights, drank heavily and was rude,” he said. “I kept a sharp screwdriver on the dashboard to threaten my passengers in case they gave me problems, especially about money,” he added.
He told Universal News about the death of a colleague who was also a close friend. “People belonging to two rival taxi associations were fighting. They came to Bara taxi rank in Soweto and opened fire. Many people including innocent passengers were hurt and my friend died in front of me,” he said. He said one day when he was reading a local newspaper he saw an article about the opening of a UCKG church in Soweto. “It challenged me to change my behaviour towards other people,” he said. German attended the opening of the church.
“A man of God spoke about how life can be meaningless without peace,” he said. Determined to change his life, German continued coming to the church. He also gave his life to God. Later he stopped drinking. “I understood that I was not just a driver but I was responsible for many lives. I started to be more careful about how I drove. I understood that my passengers were my bosses. I then started to respect them and treat them differently,” he explained. As he learned more about being faithful to God with his life and his finances, God blessed him and he was able to buy a taxi from his uncle. When the campaign of Israel was introduced he took it as an opportunity for God to bless him even more. His sister bought him another taxi and that is how he became his own boss. German took part in various movements of faith and his life took a completely different direction. He met a woman of God and they were later married. He also bought a house.
“I am no longer a taxi driver but a taxi owner. I have five paid-up taxis and I have drivers working for me. Universal News spoke to one of his employees, Bheki Nkosi , who said Mr Gama was different from other taxi owners. “It’s now my third year with him. The treatment here is totally different from other owners. He is more of a mentor and a father to all of us. Unlike others, Baba Gama doesn’t fi ght with us if we don’t make the day’s target. He told us about his life before he came to the church and always tells us that if it wasn’t for what he learned in the church, his life wouldn’t have changed and he would be dead by now because of his behaviour,” he said.
By: Ayanda Monyela