Young in Prison Magazine
This magazine is a compilation of creative workshop material from the Young in Prison programme in Pollsmoor prison, Cape Town, South Africa.
INSIDEOUT AUGUST 09 volume 1 .......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....... writing from inside .......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p o e t r y .......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................... prison IQ .......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......................... time .......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p o s i t i v e & negative .......... . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........................ Q & A .......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . g a me s INSIDE OUT We look forward to going into Pollsmoor Prison every Monday morning. Working with the young men of H Section, Medium A, is always incredibly rewarding. The prisoners appreciate what we are doing and they show it. They are usually very willing to do whatever is asked of them, even though sometimes this involves them showing themselves in a more honest way to one another, taking down their guard that is needed to survive. Our colleagues, Janine and Mbali, have been working with the young women at the Juvenile centre of the Women’s prison every Thursday morning. They have had different challenges to us but have managed to generate some great material for this edition of the magazine. The challenge that we faced in working on this magazine was encouraging the young men to look beyond the sad stories of their lives - the drugs and the crime - and start thinking about the world around them and engaging with the issues that are effecting them. They have written a number of articles about crime and it’s causes, as this is an issue that they all have personal insight into. They have also given their views on the implications of the new youth justice act, which promised to transform the correctional process for youth in our country but which has unfortunately come too late for them. Through poetry, drawing and auto-biographical writing they have given us deep insight into their communities, their hopes, dreams and their fears. There is a perception in our society that criminals are bad people, but none of the young men that we have met while working on this magazine have shown me any reason to believe that they are bad; in fact they are often the contrary. They are generally warm, kind, friendly people who have, through difficult circumstances, landed up in a bad situation. This magazine has given them a voice, an outlet to express themselves and an opportunity to overcome some of those difficulties. If we want to do something about crime in our country we need to ensure that there is support available for young people, because for many of these young men, there isn’t. They live in communities where often crime is beyond a matter of choice, it’s a means of survival. Listening to these young men could help us to find solutions to these problems as they deeply understand the issues at hand. There is plenty of attention given to the victims of crime in South Africa but we have come to realise that these young men are also victims. They are victims of a society that does not care for it’s children, which makes enemies of it’s youth who then become victims of a system, a system which to a large extent offers very little hope. By allowing them to tell their stories, from the Inside Out, we hope to give them the courage to move past these limitations and realise what they are capable of. To all the participants of this project, we thank you for your time, attention, dedication and willingness to try new things. We learn as much from you as you do from us. by Clinton Osbourn and Julia Merrett AUGUST 09 INSIDEOUT volume 3 CONTENTS writing from inside ........... 2 poetry........................... 6 prison IQ ....................... 10 time............................. 14 positive & negative .......... 14 Q & A ...................... 16 games........................... 18 the back page ................. 20 Doni emba h t e n i S s ipant ula Partic lu Max B Bleki u Z le l e d or Liez Wan i dekene Mento a M l l e e i l i Dan And uta Finck n ethu J e w e l r o a y w u She i e l V a ga Fos isa M iyabon odt Themb si S aM y Ro atyolo Zingis Sydne es i v a D haya M er k e i i l d a n t n a a N nd Th rma t Phila a Maa lemen yokotla Anthe Holmes C all aN Chant osi Akhon arley k M N Thuli Simon sper endse r A s e Lo w r the Mand Lydon attingh e Mat n e l H o t n Chris Darre linca D a esiza si w l a la olis P ethu Ngont Baba e X h p a M w l a o d d Bren Than ndo si de Fla i Mbu Gertru adla Vuyan lter l D Wa antsi Zintle Abuu lelaph uffins D B a a k b h m Mis The uel e Man Natali e s Paul Terese YiP Staff Tarisai Mchuchu-Ratsedi Project Coordinator YiPSA Deon Engelbreght Post-Release Coordinator Chengetai Maruziva Voluntary Projects Coordinator Suzanne Bessem Assistant Project Coordinator Olivia Rodbard Intern Facilitators/Youthworkers Clinton Osbourn Julia Merrett Mbali Vilakazi Nkosinathi Buyana Janine Van Rooy Magazine design Meghan Judge Conor Ralphs writing from inside What is potential? What is wisdom? P otential is something you can do but did not do it yet. Some people can write but do not try to spell or write. To use your potential you must find wisdom and know what it is, so that you can use it wisely. Wisdom is supreme. She is great. She has life in her one hand and riches in the other hand. If you get wisdom make her your sister. Why end up in prison when you can go and do something you’re good at. Many young people do drugs and crime. Why don’t we make a change and see what’s in ourselves. What are we really good at? What can we do that’s not bad? We all have great potential but we just don’t know it yet. You can build very nicely, but you prefer to steal. Why don’t you go to a company and start building houses for people who need a place to stay. That would be something good. – Sidney Roodt and Sirayeli drawing by Siyathemba Doni Our Goals & Dreams W hen we get out of here some of us have dreams of becoming movie stars. And some of us would like to coach young kids outside sports. And some have dreams of having their own houses, their own cars, wife and children, just to live a better life. And we would like to tell those who are outside not to do crimes because when you come to Pollsmoor you will be sorry and realise life is much better without crime. – Xolisa Pezisa, Thandolwethu Nbontsi, Vuyani Mbusi, Gershwin Bartess page 2 INSIDEOUT drawing by Xolisa Pezisa My community, I ’m young and I’m in prison, but that is not the problem. The question is, “what brings me in this place?” The answer is: crime, breaking the law. Why me? Why not me? That is what I ask myself. What am I doing here? Why am I in so much trouble? What am I going to do? Nothing has gone right for me in such a long time. Am I going crazy? Is there hope for me in this horrible existence that is called life? The only words that I can use to describe my life are fearful, desperate, aimless, and hopeless. As I think of my past with remorse and disgust I try to think of anything that I have done or accomplished that is positive in any way. I came up with nothing and I could not think of a single thing to be grateful for. I feel like a complete failure, with nothing left to live for and I blame one thing in my life and this made me who I am. Khayelitsha. It’s where I grew up. I grew up in a place where you hear gun shots day and night. I grew up in a place where education is not seen as a key to success. I grew up in a place where drugs are a daily treatment for youngsters; a place where teenage pregnancy is in fashion. I grew up in a place where you gain dignity by killing, in a place where grandparents bury their daughters and sons. I grew up in hell. – Max Bula drawing by Themba Dlelaphantsi INSIDEOUT page 3 Choices F irst, I grew up with my family. At the age of 11 and 12 I lost my family. I had one sister, one brother, and my step-parents. They were very angry when I ran away from them. At the age of 15 I got connected with the wrong friends. I always wanted to be the chosen one, but to be the chosen one I was sent behind bars. This is where my life started getting confusing. The only advice I can give to you is to never be sent to prison. You need to make a choice in life. If you get connected with the wrong friends you will see yourself behind bars. You must look after yourself. Crime Does Not Pay W hen your parents are poor you start thinking, what you are going to eat or wear? You go to friends, and sometimes they’re bad influences. Friends come with ideas to rob, rape, shoot, and kill. And you break your mother’s heart. You do drugs, drink alcohol and end up imprisoned. You become a gang of 26, 27 or 28. Here in prison your mother and your father don’t want to come and visit you. You start to think that your parents don’t care about you anymore and doing more wrong things. You go outside and don’t care about the people that raised you. You throw them away. You end up dead. –Vuyolwethu Juta and Themba Dlelaphantsi on you. You also get to join gangs in prison, and that is where you become a number, a 26, 27, or 28. This makes you very dangerous both inside and outside of prison. -Abuu Walter Advice about being in a gang I was in a gang in the outside. I was shooting others, and I was sleeping at my friends, or my girlfriends because the gang doesn’t want me at home. My parents can’t sleep at night when I was not home. I ended up killing a person, and now I am in prison. I am in prison and up for armed robbery and murder. I got sentenced for 3 years for the armed robbery. I have not gone to court yet for the murder. In 2007 I joined a gang here in prison. I am number 28, but it is hard for me. I wish the young people outside of prison would focus on school and listen to their parents. If you choose to join a gang, you will die. – Siyabonga Fose Crime T here are many reasons why people do crimes. This is what I would like to explain to Child Justice Act F rom my personal point of view I think that keeping youngsters out of prison would be a very good idea because keeping them in prison encourages them to be into crime. In prison they join gangs, and that is killing their future. Prison is not a place to send young people, if your aim is to steer them away from crime. In prison, you get to meet different people with different manners. They have been arrested for different crimes and they become a bad influence drawing by Abuu Walter page 4 INSIDEOUT you. People are doing crimes because of their family problems. Some families don’t care about children. The parents don’t stay together. Some children grow up without a father, who is supposed to tell them what is right and wrong. This causes some children to go to the streets where they meet the wrong people. They smoke drugs and do crimes. Also, some children don’t have clothes or food so they need to do crimes so they can buy those things. Many people who smoke drugs do crime because drugs cost a lot. If you don’t have a job and you are addicted to drugs you must do crime to get money for it. Some people do drugs because of influence from their friends. Sometimes friends can influence people to do crime. Young people who are doing drugs and crime get involved in gangs, because they need to get a number in prison. If you are in a gang you don’t fear crime because being in jail is like being home. You stay nice in prison. All gangsters deal with crime and drugs. Some people want things without working. They want to become rich. They might do crime by robbing a bank so you can have more money. The other thing is the unemployment problem. Some people don’t have a job and they can’t even buy some clothes for themselves. People are in jail in order to stop crime, but when they’re in jail they learn more about crime. The law makes people do crime, so the law is not working. -Abuu Walter I Want to Tell People about Things Happening in Prison P eople are fighting with blades and knives. There was a guy that was a part of a gang. He wanted to take another inmate clothes. The other inmate wouldn’t let him take his clothes. The first inmate took his knife and attacked the inmate. It was my first time seeing this in jail. It is not good at all. We are doing things that others don’t know like making someone a number. When you become a number you are part of a prison gang. My friend was visited by his mother. His mother brought him some blankets and shoes. Some of the other gangsters saw this happening. They robbed him and took his shoes and his blanket. You can’t do anything about it because they will do something bad to you. You must know this place is not good at all. Don’t join anything in prison because you will get hard. -Thandikhaya Matydo drawing by Thandikhaya Matyodo INSIDEOUT page 5 Your kingdom roars like the restless roots Our freedom rises like a sun in the morning –Max Bula Later-Leave-There Let’s leave later and go there Let us leave later, and go home to my mother. -Justin Rank Money-hey-tru e I have some m oney Hey, I need so me help I’m telling the truth -Vuyolwethu Ju ta Adult, Melt, Delt, About Youngsters, Rock stars, Movie stars Growing-child, Running-wild, Mild, World Fun, gun, run, sum Past, fast, last, trust -Andile Mdekene Later-ever-doing Later I must go in. I must never ever do it again. I am doing a program -Clement Philander -Andile Mdekene page 6 INSIDEOUT Youth a good childod and I want G of d il ch a I am . You supply ed of guidance hood. I’m in ne a hard my life. I lived in ed ne I ng everythi rough the l struggling th il st am I d an life everything the help of God h it w t bu , rk da , our love, your love y m t; ec rf pe should be ugh the ve is true thro lo ’s od G . er th love toge an last and er to be fast th tt be is It . er weath the past. tter future than be a r fo fe li ve li y Roodt -Sidney Jeffer June 16th It is a day we should remember Give respect to those who died for our freedom We now have a kingdom Think of those young children and parents Who died for truth, Think of those who got injured Young people died for their right The only way was to fight for ones rights Listen Freedom is what they were looking for And they were killed like ants Young mothers cried for their son’s and daughter’s Hector Peterson You are a hero You are an angel of God I hope in heaven You still fight for Our freedom To say we have Education because of you I know you have power The youth of South Africa Is proud of you We have education And freedom because of you We miss you Hector Peterson, Very much. We will never forget that day. 16 June 1976 Because it was a tough time For the youth of South Africa You know we are praying For the people that died on that day And for you too, Hector Peterson And your family, too Our wish is to make South Africa a successful country Because of you, Hector Peterson. – Siyabonga Fose But now we are free, freedom is what we have in our hands Listen Let’s use it, education is a key to success Come let’s enjoy the free country that we are living in We are free at last!! Let’s pay respect to those who died for us (Hector Pieterson) – Max Bula INSIDEOUT page 7 No-forever-be page 8 INSIDEOUT No more time for drugs. I am not here forever. Be with me, please. by Marco Canterbury INSIDEOUT page 9 pizza cake peanut butter electric kettle section swap electric light Prison IQ pizza cake peanut butter electric kettle section swap electric ligh pizza cake what you need method bread First break the bread, then add water with Drink ‘o’ Pop, then throw the porige and biscuits and then add sugar AND then make it smooth with phone card water Drink ‘o’ Pop sugar Romany Cream biscuits by Sydney Roodt and Clement Philander Weet Biks porridge bucket for cake peanut butter what you need method plate First throw the Peanut Butter in then the water then you mix it and throw the milk and the Bilt up in. After that then throw the drinks in, the drinks make the colour pink, green, wit by Maquassa Rashidand and Simon by Rashied Simon Marley knife milk peanut sugar water drinks bilt up bread sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY page 10 phone card INSIDEOUT After make your stuff then take bread and put it on and taste it, I promise you, you will come back for more for sure ... pizza cake peanut butter electric kettle section swap electric ligh ht pizza cake peanut butter electric kettle section swap electric l what you need 2 ricoffy cans electric wires 2 phone card’s (old ones) You smash the ricoffy cans until they are flat. You put the phone cards in between the cans You tie them by the sheet ropes You put the wire into the holes in each can. You put an old plug in the wires to connect it to the electric plug on the wall. You fill a Tupperware container full of water You put your kettle into the water and plug into the electric plug. electric kettle Tear a bed sheet into strips method bowl by Max Bula, Lydon Losper and Vuyolwethu Juta INSIDEOUT page 11 pizza cake peanut butter electric kettle section swap electric light Prison IQ pizza cake peanut butter electric kettle section swap electric light how to get something from another section/room at night what you need method bed sheet You take the blade and use it to tear the bedsheet You tear about 5 to 6 pieces depending on the distance You collect all the pieces and tie them together to make one You fill the bottle with water You place the botle inside athe plastic bag and tie it with your line When done you throw it from your window of your room to another window of the other room and there must be a person waiting to catch it. You must also be careful of the prison members blade bottle with water plastic bag page 12 INSIDEOUT by Vuyani Mbusi, Siyabonga Fose and Andile Mdekene pizza cake peanut butter electric kettle section swap electric ligh pizza cake peanut butter electric kettle section swap electric ligh how to make a light in prison what you need toilet paper 1 2 deodorant 3 light fitting method 1. You roll the toilet paper into a long sausage 2. You spray deodorant onto the toilet paper 3. You hold the toilet paper up to the light and you make it spark by Abuu Walter INSIDEOUT page 13 on time I washed myself and after I got my cereal. I read my book called ‘Standing in the Court.’ I feel happy when I can spend time with everyone. I went to sleep again. In the courtyard I saw Janine and her friends. They taught us good things. – Andrewline Kriel I am 19 years old. I woke up this morning miserable. The wardens counted us, and then I went back into my cell. I washed my face. I brushed my teeth and washed my body. At half past five, I was done. We waited for the wardens. The wardens opened the gate and said “attention, they can go fetch their breakfasts.” At half past six we came back from breakfast. I washed my bowl and my spoon. I wiped it out with a cloth and put it back where it belongs in the closet because they steal peoples stuff in the rooms where everyone sleeps because they are the only people that sleep in the room. When I was done washing my things and eating, I brushed my teeth again. When I was done with that I went to go to sleep in my bed. All the good things I wrote here happen in the female section in Pollsmoor. I’m here for forty days. I am going back home the 18th of July. I came the 9th of June. I thank all of the people that gave me the opportunity to leave. I am proud of myself and what I can write about myself here in Pollsmoor Prison. Thank you very much. – Jenomy Malgas I spend my time sitting with my friends, just laughing and making jokes. I, Sakeenah spend my time thinking of all of the wrong choices I have made in my life and how not to make the same choices again. I spend my time thinking about the bad things I’ve done to my family. I think about how I will solve my problems, and solving problems will always take time. I also like spending time with myself and imagining what type of person I would be been if I had the opportunity to live like a famous celebrity. I wonder if I would’ve been selfish or caring. I wonder if I’d use drugs or lead a healthy lifestyle. The nicest part of everything is that I enjoy myself when I spend me-time and imaginary time. I spend a lot of time with my partner, and I have to tell you how much she means to me. We spend time together through thick and thin, happy and unhappy. –Gertrude Flando and Sakeenah September. page 14 INSIDEOUT one moment in time In my last moment in time I would like to spend it with my father because we never really had a father/daughter relationship since I was 9 years old. That would be my moment. –Theresa Paulse I would spend that time telling my mother to look after my children, if I have any. –Zintie Dladla I will spend my last moment in time doing my mother one last favour. –Yolanda Heyns I’ll ask forgiveness from those I hurt. –Brenda I will thank God for everything that he has done for me. I would thank him for the time I was here in prison and in my life. –Thembisa I’ll spend the whole moment with my family, especially my child. I will give him all my love. –Babalwa positive & negative Positive: I don’t like when people steal from me because I don’t steal from people. The reason why I’m here is because of a packet of tik. I don’t like it. I have a child I must take care of. My mom is looking after my child. – Andrewline Kriel Positive: One day I was walking across the road when an old man asked me if I would like to help him. I did, and he told me that I was a very nice person. He tried to offer me money, but I told him that he could keep it. There is a father who sits high, and one day he will bless me. Good things happen to those who wait. -Roslyn Erasmus Negative: When I was 17 years old I started using drugs. I started using crystal meth and went on to use heroin. That’s when my life started going in the wrong direction because it was just about drugs. I started to get involved street thugs. I started to mug people that couldn’t defend themselves. Things got worse and worse, I’m not proud of myself. Positive: I have had positive times in my life, too. I will never forget those special moments because when I think about it, I feel good about myself. When my pets were in labor I used to help them deliver their kittens and puppies. I am also a proud mother and I want to make my son happy. I always play games with him, and he loved to play, even though I am in prison. I turned my negative situation into a positive one by going to school and keeping myself busy with positive things like programs. Negative: I’ve gone through a lot of negative phases in my life. I got pregnant at a very young age and it affected my school work in a negative way. I felt bad because I disappointed my family. I got involved with the wrong kinds of friends and started using drugs. I ended up in an abusive relationship and it had a major effect on me. The guy that I was involved with made me feel useless, stupid and immature. To make myself feel better I used drugs and that eventually led to my life in prison. INSIDEOUT page 15 Questions Question 1: I have a child with my girlfriend, but my girlfriend and I aren’t together anymore. She has another man but she still loves me a lot. But, I don’t know what to do and I’m asking for help. Can you help me? –Young Father 1 3 Question 3: I have a girlfriend outside. She is 18 years old. I am in prison. I hear some people saying that my girlfriend is dating my best friend. I am shocked by that. I don’t know what to do now. –Cheated 4 2 Question 2: I am 25 years old and I am in love with a 19 year old. Now that I am in prison I can’t see her every day. I can’t sleep, I am just thinking about her. This thing is hurting me. I know that she loves me too and I don’t want to lose her. –Love Struck Question 4: I am a young man who has been a gangster for 10 years. A lot of my friends have died. There are still others, including myself who are alive. There are also enemies alive. I want to quit but the problem is that if I quit my enemies will kill me. What should I do? –Gangster Boy 5 Question 5: My girlfriend is 16 years old. She is pregnant with my child. Now I am in prison. She has no support. I don’t know what to do. –Dad to be 6 Question 6: I am 20 years old. I have a girlfriend who is 40 years old. She works at ABSA bank and she buys me clothes, shoes, everything that I want. We have sex once in a while. She always comes to see me here in prison. Please help your big boy. –Toy Boy help Angelo 7 Question 7: My father is a drug dealer and my mother passed away a long time ago. Sometimes I feel like taking him to the police, but I am scared. He was the one who killed my mother. Now I have a big problem I can’t stay out of bad stuff because bad thing and drugs are my father’s priority. What do I do? –Bad Dad Question: Hi guys, my name is Angelo. I’m young, but my girlfriend is 37 years old. We are in love with each other and even have a baby together. She also has a child that is almost the same age as me. I love her because she buys me whatever I want. She loves me because I am good in bed. I’m confused, is she the right person for me? page 16 INSIDEOUT Advice 1 Answer 1: You have to understand that she is moving on with her life and she needs support and love while you are in prison. 3 Answer 3: Just move on with your life because life goes on. Forget about her because you can’t expect her to wait for you while you are in jail. Try and get over her and you will find another girl when you are getting out of prison. 5 Answer 5: Talk to your family outside to try and support your child. Try to convince you girlfriend about your situation. It is important that you maintain support. Advise your girlfriend to get a child support grant from the government to help her while you are in prison . Reassure your girlfriend that when you get out everything is going to be alright. 2 Answer 2: You can just work through your prison sentences and focus on life. If you get released you can meet her again, and keep dating her. You can see her as much as you want. 4 Answer 4: You should try and change the place that you are living. Face your enemies and tell them that you want to make peace with them and tell them that you have left your gangster life behind and you no longer have a problem with them. Try to combine your community and family to help you with this, sit down and talk about it with your enemies. Try to rebuild your life by getting a job or do something that will always keep you busy and keep you out of trouble. 6 Answer 6: The first thing that you need to know is if you really love her and care about her. If you do love her I don’t see a problem with it. Age doesn’t mean anything if you love a person. If you are not in love then you should end it because it is not a healthy relationship. nswer Angelo 7 Answer 7: Try to advise your father to get a job. Talk to a social worker about your problem and report him to the police or another adult. Confront your father about why he killed your mother. Find another place to live with support that you need like a family member or a social worker. INSIDEOUT page 17 dr aw in g by Th an di k ha ya Ma ty ol o GAMES SUDOKU : Instructions Complete the grid so that there are no empty squares. Every row, column, and 3 x 3 mini-square must contain the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 once and once only. solution on the back page 2 5 8 8 3 LYDON LOSPER 4 6 9 9 3 6 MADE BY 8 page 18 INSIDEOUT 4 7 1 9 5 3 6 WORD SEARCH : Instructions Each word on the list is hidden amongst the letters. The word could run in any direction even backwards. When you find a word, circle it. GOD FRIEND DARREN LUCKY LYDON APPLE RESPECT DARK ONE KINDNESS BIBLE POWER MADE BY FORGIVE SUN RUN DARREN HATTINGH : LYDON LOSPER R E W O P S O N E L F R I E N D S B L E L P P A P I Y K C U L R E B D A R K O R C F O R G I V E T E N U O N E N S S E N D N I K INSIDEOUT page 19 2 6 sudo ku 3 7 4 solu tio n, m a de b y 7 8 3 9 4 6 7 Lydo nL 4 ospe r 6 3 7 1 9 9 7 2 3 6 4 8 3 5 5 4 1 2 5 6 2 7 8 1 2 9 8 5 1 3 8 9 4 1 6 4 9 5 1 5 2 5 8 6 5 2 3 9 2 8 6 1 7 1 9 8 4 1 7 9 3 5 4 2 INSIDEOUT 3 page 20 7 6 8