07 December 2018

Anger and bitterness led me astray

Learning that his mother had abandoned him and his twin brother turned Temba into an angry child who found it difficult to focus in school and then became involved in criminal activities.

"My grandmother told me that my mother had abandoned me and my twin brother months after we were born. My twin brother passed on when we were just over a year old. That left me emotionally wrecked and bitter," said Temba.

After his father got married, Temba was cared for by his stepmother who ill-treated him.

"My stepmother made me do all the house chores while other children played outside. She would beat me up for every minor mistake I made. At one point, my father sent her money and he sent mine separately from hers. My stepmother got mad with me and she beat me up for that," he said Temba

failed three times when he was in primary school. When he was in grade 10, Temba ran away from his stepmother and lived with his aunt. After he failed matric, Temba joined his cousin who lived in Johannesburg.

"I lived with my cousin and his three friends in a shack. We were all unemployed so we decided to buy a gun that we used to rob people of their belongings," said Temba.

Their gun was later seized by police when one of his cousin's friends went out to rob people.

"Feeling vulnerable and in fear of being attacked by our victims, I decided to attend the services at the Universal Church in 2004. I engaged in the chain of prayers on Mondays. I started looking for a job and I was hired a month later. I also attended on Wednesdays where I learnt the importance of forgiving those who wronged me. I was then able to let go of the anger and bitterness I had towards my mother. I was also able to forgive my stepmother who ill-treated me.

I now have a good relationship with my stepmother. I married in the church and have my own family which is something I did not have before," said Temba.

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