A few years back I met a man.
One of a kind.
A man who makes an imprint.
A man who will make a difference.
His story is maculated with despair, blood and raw pain.
with the dark there are big dreams to improve the world, profound
insights and the indeniable truth that change is possible.
This kid grew up in a township with a mother and an abusive father.
At the age of 13 his father was arrested.
Mom lost her job.
Desperation. Empty stomaches. Everyone must help out.
This child was cunning and couragous, wreckless even.
His career as a thief took off.
He grew older.
He grew bolder.
He grew cruder.
He grew emptier and more careless.
He became a gangster.
Drugs. Threats at gunpoint. Fear. Kills. Crimes. Blood.
He became a leader of his klan.
Infamous in violent circles.
They grew more ruthless.
They grew more powerful.
"Bad men" as he himself puts it.
They ran from the law.
He grew exhausted.
One evening he gave up, for the will to fight had run out.
The cops were on to him.
For years he had not slept in the same place two nights in a row.
He went home and as he sat by the door he knew what was coming.
The police would take him. Put him away.
In silence he just waited...
Unevitable bars surrounding him.
The stay in prison did not frighten him, he took his chance of resting his mind.
As he felt a calm in his broken inside he begun studying.
A breaking point.
He knew that he would never again run down this road.
No more blackness, no more violence, no more intimidation.
His new self was not taken well within the bricked walls.
He took the isolation, the insults from the guards, the beatings.
He did not faulter, for he saw the bigger picture.
Bullying. Torture. Insight. Studying. Finding peace. Loneliness. Blood.
Over 10 years later freedom was his again.
He left captivity a new man.
A man with the vision, the calling really, to change the prospects of youth.
Prevent them from choosing the road to perdition.
[The new job]
Two Swedish women with an idea of starting a recreational center in Langa met this recently freed man.
Their vision was about creating self-esteem in children.
They say something in him.
experience of the dark side, his will to fight til his last breath, his
dream of a better society where every child has a chance, his sincere
belief that change is possible, his knowing what the hole inside can
make you do, his natural leadership.
He blew them off their feet.
They say IT in him.
This man ended up manager at Project Playground.
He never stops trying.
He never gets enough learning.
He never neglects his responsibilities.
He never turns off reflecting about the bigger picture.
He never gives up fighting for the future of the children.
He never quits dreaming, hoping and believing.
[The core & the two extremes]
A constant hunger for a broader horizon.
A natural in making people listen.
The burning longing to fill the hole inside.
Savage-like blood that keeps rushing through the veins.
An inner drive combined with complete relentlessness.
A dreamy mind packed with images of a better life.
One man with a tsunami-like force inside.
At the crossroads there are two possible roads.
One will eventually lead into total darkness.
The other into dazzling light.
Only two extremes can spring from such a core.
...For this is a story of a wild heart.