Windhoek — Johnny Bradly Davids, an inmate at the Windhoek Correctional Facility, has defied all odds and accomplished what very few people do, regardless of whether they be free or incarcerated in prison.
A father of five, Johnny found his life turned upside down in 2011, when he was sentenced to twelve years in prison. Before prison, Johnny had always dreamed of graduating with a qualification from Unam, but his marks weren't good enough. In prison, he resolved to improve his marks through the Namibia College of Open Learning (Namcol). He studied steadily, and in 2015 qualified to apply to the University of Namibia (Unam).
"Some of the guards would laugh and say that my studies were just a ruse, a ploy to fool the justice system into believing that I am rehabilitated, but I knew that this was my chance to accomplish my dreams," narrates Johnny.
It was not smooth sailing. Johnny recalls how hard it was to get access to a computer to do assignments and extra reading material.
"My five children, my sister and mother who paid for my education, were my main motivation for studying despite difficult circumstances," recalls a teary-eyed Davids. His mother is a domestic worker living in Windhoek's Khomasdal suburb.
He studied at night, and during the day read and did assignments. Yesterday, he graduated with a Diploma in Local Government Studies.
"I want to work for the City of Windhoek," says Davids. He will complete his reduced sentence in a few weeks' time.
Warrant-Officer Thomas Shaanika, a correctional officer at the facility for 14 years, remarked that offenders who study have better prospects after graduation and are less likely to return to prison and they usually become productive citizens.