Don’t follow in my footsteps – Ninja

Paulus Shiweefeleni
… ‘I want to go to all schools across the country to inform young people that crime does not pay’

“Future leaders, doctors, nurses, presidents and ministers are among you, and it is important for me to tell you that crime does not pay.”

These are the words of Paulus Shimweefeleni, popularly known as ‘Ninja’, a convicted robber and murderer.

He said this during his first community outreach as a free man at Hage Geingob Secondary School in Windhoek yesterday.

The event took place in collaboration with Faith Foundation.

“I do not want any young person in this country to follow in my footsteps,” he said.

Shimweefeleni was released from prison on 4 March after serving more than 25 years.

He spoke about his journey and how correctional facilities have transformed him.

“I want to do something that has never been done before as someone who has been rehabilitated by correctional facilities. From my experience and the programmes I have been exposed to, I was able to see and differentiate between wrong and right,” Shimweefeleni said.
He said he was seriously ill in 1999 and spent approximately three months in an intensive care unit.

He was nearly released on medical parole until a doctor saw his record, he said.

“Maybe it was God’s plan, because imagine if I was released during that time, I would have continued my ways, and not have been the man I am today,” he said.

During yesterday’s engagement, a pupil asked Shimweefeleni about his worst crime.

“I’ve killed someone whose family relied on him for support. This is something I regret every day of my life. I see his face, and I have gone to several churches to pray, but it hasn’t helped,” he said.

Furthermore, Shimweefeleni said he is willing to meet with the man’s family and ask for their forgiveness, but is reluctant to reopen wounds.
“Imagine how they would react if I stood at their door and informed them I am the man who took their father’s life,” he said.

Shimweefeleni said an apology would never be enough, neither was the sentence he served.

Another pupil thanked him for visiting their school.

“You are a teacher on your own, and you are inspiring us. Thank you for guiding us and setting an example for us,” the pupil said.
The founder of Faith Foundation, Dennis Tobias, said the foundation has a few stakeholders on board to make its countrywide outreach programmes possible.

“There are young people across the country who are faced with various challenges such as depression, substance abuse and who are ex-offenders.

“The initiative involves a ‘turning point club’ introduced through the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture. There is a need for young people to come together and play a role in shaping the society we live in,” he said.

Faith Foundation is a charity that was founded in 2013 and promotes the welfare of vulnerable and at-risk young people.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News