I dated older women to finance my lifestyle
Envy of his friends who came from well-off families and wore expensive clothes pushed Lebogang into a life of crime and dating older women who gave him money.
"My mother was unemployed and we survived on my grandparents’ pension. My stepfather provided for me, but it was never enough to afford the kind of clothes I wanted buy. When we were in grade eight, all my friends had the latest playstations and sneakers while I did not have even the cheapest of those. I could not understand why I was born in a poor family while other kids had the finer things in life. That made me an angry and resentful child who shouted at and disrespected the elders, including my parents. I would lock myself in my room and refuse to eat," he said.
In order to buy what he wanted to have, Leboneng joined a group of boys who were involved in criminal activities.
"We smoked dagga and drank alcohol. We broke into people’s houses and stole shoes, clothes and electrical appliances that we sold. We also robbed tuckshops in our neighbourhood.
My friends later organised guns for our crew and we used them to threaten the tuckshop owners. That life afforded me the expensive clothes I wanted. I was also able to go to night clubs where I met older women whom I dated because they provided for me financially. One of my girlfriends was 50 and I was 24, but I didn't care. She paid for my flashy lifestyle," he said.
One Sunday in 2016, Lebogang was invited to another church, but took the wrong taxi and found himself outside the Universal Church.
"When I got out of the taxi I saw the Universal Church and decided to attend anyway because it was too late for me to locate the other church. At the end of the service, I was invited to the YPG meetings where I met young people who led godly lives. I was also offered counselling. I became interested and ended upcoming to the church every Sunday. I was able to leave my criminal activities and I stopped smoking dagga and drinking after a few months in the church. I also stop dating older women and respected my body as the temple of God. I was surprised by the joy I had, even though I did not have the money I used to have before. Within a month in the church, I found a job and I was able to provide for myself. As I continued coming to the church I learnt the importance of waiting for God’s right time. I now earn a good living and I am growing in my spiritual life daily," he said.