In every aspect of life, we come across many challenges. They say life always gives us choices and it’s all up to you to choose which life you want to live. We live in world of trauma, laughter, incidents and trials and tribulations and we experience life in such a way that can either build us up or destroy us.
Sometimes we do things with the intention of not hurting others, but not everything we do goes per our plan. Many people have hidden talents or, under some circumstances, others fail to show their talents.
Take Jake Kekana, for example. He was in jail serving his 10-year sentence. He made friends, but when you are newcomer in jail, things become harder for you because the other prisoners see you as a dumb person. They don’t care what the reason was for your arrest. It was not smooth sailing for him.
After a while he started to get along with the other inmates who were not as brutal or as aggressive as the others. They would lie on their backs on their beds and tell stories and lie to each other about their lives outside the prison; about how they were the boss in their townships and how girls loved them and their style.
After four months, the prison created a school and a church inside the prison. All those who were interested would often visit the church and the school, but Jake was attending both. As time passed, he realised that his calling was to be a Pastor but his inmates would laugh at him and call him a sissy whenever he was carrying a Bible.
He would sometimes go to bed hungry because the big bosses in prison would take his food because he was never aggressive or got involved in a fight with anyone. He was a quiet person. Other prisoners would tease him and wonder how he ended up in jail and then again, they thought that he was too good to be true. Pastor Mokoena used to visit them and give them sermons and he was fond of Jake because of his good behaviour and that he was not a troublemaker.
After the sermons, the Pastor would sit and chat with him and give him advice about life. Jake also had a vision of being a motivational speaker. Being a student at his advanced age, he struggled a lot. He hadn’t gone to school often when he was a child because he was robbing pensioners on their pension days, and busy moping around the streets at night.
After two years, he was given parole for good behaviour and he was very happy. He could smell fresh air and the sea breeze from miles away. Jake’s family was happy because they’d been visiting him in jail so they knew that he was a reformed man.
He started going to church and found a job. It was nothing big, but it was enough for him and his family and enough to cover his mother’s medical bills. She had been sick ever since she heard that her son had been arrested. She was recovering from her stroke but she was still in a critical condition.
The community was still very judgmental towards him about the traumatic things he did in front of children’s eyes before he went to prison. They never believed that he’d changed. They never realised it was because he had guilty conscience about the things he had done in the past.
In two years, he built his own church and now he is a married man with a child on the way.
Pastor Kekana, as he is called now, has his own congregation and he is a motivational speaker. It’s true when they say: “Don’t judge a book by its cover” because you don’t know what is inside the book, and you may never know until you go through that book and read every little detail on every page.