I grew up with both of my parents—what more could I have asked for, right? Yet, my dad was hardly ever around and when he was, he would treat me badly. He didn’t believe in me and would bombard me with negative words. He told me that I would never amount to anything, or that I would end up in prison. As if those words didn’t hurt enough, he would even go to the extent of physically abusing me.
My mum was mostly on the receiving end of his abuse, as he was always shouting at her. There were many misunderstandings between them both, especially when it came to other women that he got involved with. I was even introduced to some of the women he would betray my mum with!
As the eldest child, the responsibility was left to me to comfort and support my mum. Even though my dad’s behaviour was utterly wrong, his character started to have an influence on me. I eventually lost all respect for my mum. Although she did her best to make ends meet for my siblings and me, I couldn’t help but follow the example that my dad had left! I would raise my voice at her and behave aggressively towards her, making her feel scared and intimidated.
I wasn’t only a troublemaker at home, but the streets also fell victim to my terrorising behaviour. I got involved with negative ‘friends’ who introduced me to smoking weed. I eventually became hooked. Instead of calming me down, the only thing that weed did was double my aggressiveness!
I hung around with older gang members and would get up to all sorts of rebellious and criminal activity. I had so much anger built up inside of me that my source of relief was by getting involved in street feuds and fights. However, I was releasing this anger in the wrong way. At 14 I nearly lost my life after getting into a fight. I was left in a critical state and had to be rushed to the hospital.
These feuds also put my family’s lives at risk. People began to shoot at my house in search of me. Because of the fear of another attack, my whole family had to pack up and move to another area. It was at this moment that I realised the extent of which things had gotten to. It was the last straw! I had to make a decision to change; otherwise, I was writing my own death wish.
My mum started coming to the UCKG HelpCentre and she tried to invite me but I was sceptical. I was unsure if God really existed and whether He could change my situation. My mum kept on persisting, and in the end I decided to give it a try. I had nothing to lose after all!
The first day I stepped inside and I listened to what the adviser was saying, it might sound cliché, but it related exactly to what I was going through! It was at this moment that I noticed that this was no ordinary church. Hope was born inside of me, and I decided to open up my heart to God. I wanted to have a better life and become a better son.
I took part in purposes of faith and in the Campaign Of Israel. I wanted a total transformation, and through my sacrifices, I achieved it!
People cannot recognise the Duquarne I am now compared to the person that I used to be! My character has completely changed! I have quit my addiction to weed and I am finally able to control my anger. The relationship between my mum and me has been restored, and the hatred that I had against my dad has completely gone. Giving up my past and baring myself to God was worth it. He has made me a completely new man!