From Gangsterism to grace

Picture: @jermainetheys, Facebook/ Wayne Daniels Photography

Jermaine Theys is a 25-year-old from Saxonsea Atlantis. In 2018, he traded a life of conflict and chaos for peace and prosperity. 

While attending school Jermaine was yearning for a sense of power and authority. Soon he found himself enthralled in a life of gangsterism and mayhem. Despite sinking deeper into that way of life, he knew that it was not what he wanted for himself.

Speaking to Africa News Agency (ANA), Jermaine said “On April 18, 2018, I was sitting in my room and a voice started speaking to me and it told me to stop what I am doing. What I am doing is inhumane. I listened intently and said give me your plans, and I asked myself how would this look.”

Theys said he struggled to find a way to tell his brothers in his gang of his wish to leave his life of gangsterism behind. Theys said he prayed for guidance and told ANA, “God spoke to me.”

Gangsterism has the appeal of women, fast cars, and money – the flip side however is the consequences of gangster activities. Theys told the publication, “Gangsterism only brings heartache to you, your family, and friends. It is not worth it.

“I cannot mention the amount of times I have been shot at, friends dying next to me. I saw myself facing 10 to 14 years’ imprisonment at one point.”

When Theys finally found the courage to speak to his gang leader, the discussion went better than he had expected.

He said, “I kept praying. I called the gang leader and told him I did not want to live this life. He told me he saw I was distancing myself and was no longer 100% in this. By the grace of God he wished me well. That was my blessing.”

These days Theys can be found designing clothes for his own clothing brand, called ‘Because of His Grace’.

“I am a young man who loves dressing well. Therefore I started a clothing line with T-shirts, golfers, and crewnecks for our youth.”

Theys further told ANA that, “Because of His Grace will also in future be a programme and safety net for our youth. I am willing to assist anyone needing guidance.”