Orphaned at the tender age of 6
Themba's life became an uphill battle after he lost his parents at the age of six. The stability he had known was no longer there, as he was bounced around from relative to relative. To make ends meet, he started doing odd jobs when he was 15.
"Working at that age made me realise that life was not going to be an easy ride for me. My friends had their parents to provide for them while I had to fend for myself. I sometimes felt like misery was written all over my face, " he said.
At the age of 20, he moved to Johannesburg to look for a better job and lived with a friend where he started drinking and smoking.
"I found part-time jobs. I used my money on alcohol and dagga. I later had to move out of my friend's place because he only agreed to accommodate me for a short while. I moved into a shack where I didn't have to pay rent. Being unable to secure a permanent job made me believe that there were dark spirits tormenting me," he said.
He was invited to the Universal Church on Good Friday in 2003.
"My life was stagnant and nothing worked for me because I spent my money on alcohol and dagga. I was mentally drained. I could not understand how coming to the church could change my hopeless situation. However, the preaching that day gave me hope when I heard about faith that changes lives.
I understood that I needed to commit my life to God in order for Him to change it. I attended the services every Friday and asked God to deliver me from the spirits of darkness.
I found a good job after a few months in the church. I later stopped drinking alcohol and dagga and was able to save money. That's when I started experiencing true joy and perfect peace. I invested more time in building a relationship with God. In 2008, I married Nkele after we dated for five years. God continued to bless my finances and I started my own construction company.
I now have a family of my own and I am enjoying a sober life, something I did not have after I lost my parents. My company is growing and I don't struggle to get jobs because I always put God first in everything I do. There is a greater reward in trusting God. My faith in Him cannot be shaken," said Themba.