Windhoek — Three-years ago, 36-year old Travoltha Tjiuiju was sentenced to two years in prison for conspiracy to fraud.
Tjiuiju, who served a two-year sentence, was yesterday awarded a certificate in computer training by CHANGE, an independent non-governmental organisation actively involved in uplifting the Namibian society and contributing to economic and social development by re-integrating ex-offenders into society.
Tjiuiju was one of 40 people who received a certificate in computer training and fashion design from CHANGE.
"Prison is never a good thing. But my time in prison never discouraged me from living life," related Tjiuiju, adding that he maintained a positive attitude during his time in prison.
While in prison, Tjiuiju taught literacy to fellow offenders.
The Grade 12 holder said the certificate he received yesterday would add to his curriculum vitae.
Prior to his sentence, Tjiuiju was a businessman who specialized in printing services.
"I've learned to choose my friends wisely," said Tjiuiju. He advises youth to be vigilant by not allowing anybody to be their friend.
He also advised the youth to seek guidance of elders when faced with difficult choices and to heed the wisdom of their elders.
The father of one said he strives to be a better role model for his daughter.
"I want to see that my daughter who is now in Grade 10 gets a good education. I don't just want her to know me as an ex-convict," added Tjiuiju.
Tjiuiju and four other men from Sri Lanka and Singapore were convicted of being part of a fraud ring that allegedly cloned 474 bank credit/debit and gift cards and then used the cards at ATMs throughout Namibia to withdraw large amounts of cash.
The total amount involved was about N$1.467 million from the accounts of customers of British bank Barclays, according to news reports.
It was reported the fraud was committed between March 18 and September 26 2007.
Tjiuiju encouraged young people to stay away from criminal activities.
"Crime does not pay. When you are young it's easy to stray from the correct path but young people should be wise and listen to their parents," added Tjiuiju.
His immediate plans are to invest in farming and a sustainable business.