Sandile Mbonane, known as Maganza, grew up thinking life was hard for him.
But now he is able to look back with gratitude because his family always had enough food and clothing, and he can see how God was seeking him out all along.
Maganza got involved in criminal activities at an early age.
"I used to take drugs and when I was 13 years old I got arrested for robbery," he confesses. "That is when my life started being monstrous and I became a dangerous criminal."
He was convicted of breaking and entering and given a five-year sentence and then an extra 1295 days for breaking his parole conditions.
"But that is not the end [of my life]," says the 20-year old. "God loves me and I still have a chance to go outside and be a better person than before."
The reason for his hope and positive attitude is that while in prison, Maganza met a pastor who explained to him that there is no real life without Jesus and told him how much God loved him and how He could take away all his wrongdoings if he just committed himself to Jesus by faith.
"I decided to become a Christian because I never found love before like the way God loved me. I realised I didn't want anything in life as much as that love," he admits.
Now Maganza attends regular Bible studies to learn more about God.
"Each [Bible] reading I get, I try to understand clearly so that I can hear what God is wanting me to do – and I do it, because I love God," he says practically.
"Jesus is my Lord and my Saviour. He is the one who covers up all my past sins."
Maganza is now able to forgive others and not hold grudges against them but pray that God will heal the wounds in their hearts too.
"God has helped me to make changes and to overcome my sins by giving me strength each time I am tempted. For me there is no more turning back to my old life," Maganza declares.•