Involved in armed robbery and car hijacking, Mangoojane Sidwell admits he was once addicted to alcohol and the love of money, that is, until a fellow prisoner's persistent message finally got through to him.
Aggressive and cruel like his friends, Mangoojane says that in his former life "shooting and killing someone was as easy as killing an insect."
He remembers they acted "like bosses" and when his gang arrived in a township other gangs would see their car coming and leave in fear.
“Shooting and killing someone was as easy as killing an insect” Then one day Mangoojane got shot in the head.
"The bullet went into the right side of my head and out my left eye socket. Both of my eyes were hanging out of their sockets," he recalls.
In hospital, doctors were amazed, telling him, "You're a miracle man because the movement of the bullet in your head should have killed you!"
The shooting also led to Mangoojane's arrest for possession of an unlicensed firearm, and theft from a store and its manager.
He was sentenced to ten years in prison and recalls a prisoner there persistently told him that Jesus loved him.
Mangoojane responded aggressively: "I was not interested in church and before prison I hit people for money."
Undeterred, the man spoke to him again the next day with the same message saying, "Jesus loves you."
"Eventually," Mangoojane says, "I decided to listen to him. That is when I gave my life to Jesus."
A fellow inmate from his cell explained to him the good news of Jesus Christ by quoting John chapter 3, verse 16, from the Bible: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son (Jesus Christ), that whoever believes in Him should not perish (eternally), but have everlasting life."
Upon trusting that God had forgiven his sin through Jesus' death on a cross, Mangoojane says, "It felt like a load was taken from my shoulders."
"Since I gave my life to Jesus I have a joy and peace in my heart. I gave up everything evil that I had been doing without any questions."
His attitude and behavior has changed dramatically since then.
"I no longer drink or smoke, and I even am no longer greedy of money like I was before. I am satisfied with what I have."
Since finishing his jail sentence, Mangoojane has become a preacher of the good news of Jesus that saved him inside prison.
"I preach Jesus to everyone I meet on the street, inside taxis and at open-air meetings. I pray and I preach Jesus everywhere I meet people."