It was the night of the school beauty contest and all the girls attending were so excited and dressed for the occasion. Blondy had a dress that she tried to mend for the evening. She carefully sewed the torn parts under the arms, but it was still clumsy. That night, she was the laughingstock of the school.
She was used to going to school with broken shoes. Since her father died when she was only 11 years old, and her mother remarried a man who wanted nothing to do with her children, Blondy had become accustomed to playing the mother role to her younger brother, who was also asthmatic and deaf.
That night after the event, she was crying when she came home, only to find her brother, sick and hungry. She decided that night, that she had to take a stand and turn things around for them. She made the decision to leave school and go to the people in her community, who she knew had status and money. They taught her the ‘short ways’ of life.
Starting with fraudulent cheques and bank frauds, Blondy soon had enough money to care for her brother’s medical needs and ensure that they were comfortable. Gaining influence in the underworld, she started recruiting many people to do the same job. By 2007 she was considered a syndicate and on the Hawks ‘most wanted’ list from Cape Town to Joburg. 2002 was the first year Blondy found herself in prison and in 2012 was sentenced to 33 years, all concurrent up to 12 years with a suspended sentence. Whether inside or out of prison, Blondy was a leader, and became ‘unmanageable’.
In solitary confinement one day, they threw a Bible at her and she found herself reading it like a novel. “I’ve heard your cries, now I am here to rescue you”. These were the words she read and she became so aware of the mask that she had been wearing and for the first time, believed that there was a God and He was speaking to her. She made peace with God and with herself.
Blondy served 6 years and is now a field worker with City Mission. She is on an amazing journey of transforming her own life and also reaching out to many broken, rejected and shunned women who battle with the stigma of prostitution and being ex-offenders. “I want God’s grace to help me save these women and bring back their dignity.”
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