In the early 2000s, just after he completed his matric, Mpho Mosia joined a gang in his community in the Free State. He rose in the ranks and soon started his own gang, Cats of Milk, an ominous play on the phrase ‘dogs of war.’
“It was in the year 2006 when I found out that my girlfriend was cheating on me. I was so furious and angry to a point that I confronted her. Anger took over to a point that it led me to beat her to a pulp and she was then hospitalized,” Mosia recalls.
Police charged him with attempted murder. A judge found him guilty and sentenced Mosia to seven years of imprisonment.
“I spent full seven years in jail without parole because I also joined a gang in prison which led me to doing more crimes inside. Chances of me getting parole were slim,” he says.
Prison was also a turning point. Mosia realised that he was making decision on anger. He began to deal with his own long-held trauma own trauma.
“All you can do is to accept your mistakes and make them your learning experience,” he adds
He also began to study motor mechanics while still in prison. When he was released, Mosia got a job at a dealership in Bethlehem.
A lesson everyday
“I learn every day from people around me on how things are done appropriately and in an acceptable manner. I try by all means not to be saddened by anything,” he says. “I have now changed for the better.”
Mosia now also successfully co-parents with his ex-girlfriend. He now works for the Dihlabeng local municipality and runs a small business selling meat and vegetable.
Mosia’s mother Maria is proud of how her son has become a better man.
“I encourage him to continue to motivate young ones and also be supportive in every direction so that they don’t end up joining gangs.”