PREPARING PRISONERS FOR LIFE AFTER PRISON
By: Mbalenhle Sithebe
A young Ekurhuleni community leader Celimpilo Manyathi is working towards a project that will encourage prisoners to prepare for life after prison.
Zonderwater Prison will be the first prison to host an inmate Family Day celebration on Friday May 30, 2014. The celebration is to encourage families to support their relatives in jail as they get rehabilitated in order to fit in the society again.
“We are trying to help prisoners develop a policy to overcome challenges in prison,” said project founder Celimpilo Manyathi.
Manyathi added that prison life is difficult because there were issues of health, gangsterism and rape.
“Just like any other person living under life threatening conditions they need support.”
The Zonderwater Prison encourages prisoners to participate in furthering their education and getting involved in sports. Well-known actors like Israel Makoe, who plays the role of Israel on Zone 14, had established his acting talent at Zonderwater.
Metro FM Dj, William Lehong said that he hopes that initiatives like these would be branched out to other prisons.
Manyathi said that he was encouraged by Dj Sbu’s motto of “intellectual swag”, to support prisoners who were serious about education. They deserve to be celebrated and supported by people close to them for “standing for change”.
The project is funded by the Gauteng Health Department and other private companies who donate food and gifts.
People like Ronnie “Papa Action” Nyakale who plays Cosmo in Generations, Ernest Msibi that plays Vuvu in Zone 14 and the multi-award maskandi group Shwi Nomntekhala, have offered themselves for entertainment on the 30th of May.