I'm Xola

When I was younger, I used to think Hope is for other people, not for me. I would look at the madness around me and say to myself, is this all there is to life? I grew up in Samora, Cape Town , where I spent my youth as part of a gang. We would smoke drugs and abuse alcohol, to the point where I was unrecognisable to myself.

I was arrested for being in possession of a firearm. After 9 months in prison I made some critical life decisions that altered the direction my life was taking. I enrolled myself in a number of courses, including The Message Enterprise Programme, Since leaving prison,

I've started working at Gangstar Cafe, a business initiative of The Message. I've been trained as a barista, hoping to one day become South Africa's very best. I mentor young boys that were previously orphaned or on the streets and now stay in a half-way house in Salt River.


I made many wrong decisions in the past. I was illiterate, and I carried this secret as a child and regretted being born. I thought I was stupid and tried to commit suicide. 

Eventually, I was arrested for drug trafficking and sentenced to ten years imprisonment. It was in prison where I decided to accept Jesus Christ into my life. It was the best decision I ever made. 

When I was released from prison I contacted The Message Trust and they later employed me at Gangstar Café. I am now a trained barista and have been able to learn new skills and share my story with many people. I have a vision to set up a community programme to mentor and provide opportunities for young people in the township where I live.