- Simphiwe Thunzi is a top coffee maker at Gangstar Cafe in Cape Town
- He managed to turn his life around after a lengthy prison sentence
- He shared how he shunned a life of gangsterism and crime to make an honest living
A former gangster and convicted criminal from Cape Town has shared how he got his life back on track.
Simphiwe Thunzi was introduced to a life of crime as a teenager because he "wanted to fit in," Briefly.co.za learned. He even got shot several times.
Speaking to Beautiful News, he said he was sentenced to 18 years in prison for armed robbery when he was just 17 years old.
While serving time at Drakensberg prison, Simphiwe joined the notorious Numbers Gang. He became one of its top smugglers.
Fortunately, a pastor friend of his named Vuyo Nyabaza guided him to redemption. He said:
If it wasn’t for a good friend of mine who showed me the possibility of calmness and clarity, I never would have seen another way of living.
Upon his release, his banked on his skills as a coffee connoisseur. He now runs Gangstar Cafe in Cape Town. It was named so because "a gang is our past but stars are our future and present."
Simphiwe hopes to use his story to inspire others to shun crime and gangsterism. He explained:
No child grows up wanting to become a criminal. We have the power to turn our lives around. Inspire others, even if there’s no one to inspire you.
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