Inmate urges youths to choose friends carefully
By Lahja Nashuuta
WINDHOEK – An inmate from the Windhoek Correctional Facility shared his personal story of being involved in a gang rape at the tender age of 14 while in high school.
The inmate, who was speaking during First Lady Monica Geingos’ Be Free Campaign at Rocky Crest Secondary School on Saturday, expressed remorse and offered a heart-felt apology to the victim and her family.
The Be Free Campaign provides a platform for the First Lady to spend time with learners, teachers and parents deliberating on social issues affecting the community.
The inmate acknowledged responsibility for his actions and cautioned youths to practice wisdom when choosing friends, as friends can easily influence their behaviour, leading to bad choices. He emphasised the importance of choosing friends who have a positive impact on one’s life and encourages one to achieve their goals. In addition, he highlighted the importance of youths listening to their parents as they only caution in order to guide and protect.
The inmate said that he was raised by his grandmother and following his offence he came to the realisation that the absence of a father played a role in how he viewed sex as he stated that as a young man it was not his grandmother’s role to provide him with sex education.
He further said that the absence of a father figure may have contributed to him not having any guidance on appropriate sexual behaviour. In closing, he stressed to the learners that nothing good comes out of premature sexual activity. He jokingly told the learners that the white hairs on his head did not represent wisdom or wealth but were instead a result of stress and sleepless nights in prison.
“Crime exposes you to the risk of losing an opportunity to live your life,” he said, and regretted that his peers were graduating while he was still trying to finish his high school while incarcerated, a sad reality he had to accept.