It happened on a day I skipped school. I went to Sindane Park to play on the trampoline. The guy who owned the trampoline was a former gang member and a close friend of mine. He taught me how to hustle and not only be book smart. While I was playing on the trampoline he called me and told me to go buy popcorn from Chris’s petrol station. As I left the park I noticed two guys walk in; they were pretty obvious to spot because the park was empty, it was just the four of us.

I thought they were too old to want to get on the trampoline, but I thought maybe they wanted to buy what my friend was selling out of matchboxes. As I reached the end of the park I heard gun shots. I rushed into the shop at the petrol station and bought the popcorn. When I came back to the park there were people next to the trampoline, and I wondered what was happening.

As I got closer I overheard a couple of women in gowns with bath towels around their waists whisper amongst themselves. They explained that the owner of the trampoline had just been killed by two guys who were seen running from the park right after the shooting. I couldn’t do or say anything because I wasn’t supposed to be there, so I snuck back into school and never told a soul. I stopped helping out gangs with deliveries and even stopped looking out for the police.

I ended up starting my own band. We never stole a single cent. We always found legit ways of making a quick buck, but we hit the jackpot when it was George, 2cent and I. George was the muscle because he knew karate, 2cent was a backup singer and dancer and he also did party tricks. I was the brains behind the operation and knew exactly how to get the kids at school to give up their lunch money without feeling forced.

We performed comedy sketches for the other pupils, we sang and danced for them. The money rolled in when I took on the persona of Mzekezeke – I even wore a pantyhose to cover my face and disguised my voice, trying to imitate Mzekezeke. The pupils loved it so much, they were queueing up to give us everything they had.

When my younger cousins started at the school a while later, I recruited them. I was never short of money nor good friends ever again.


Tell us: What do you think of Chris saying that, ‘You can lose money chasing after friends but you’ll never lose friends chasing after money.’ Do you think it is true?