WATCH | From gangster to barista: Meet the ex-convict making Cape Town’s coffee

24 January 2020 - 08:36
By Tashin Singh

Clint Avontuur spent most of his youth in and out of prison. Having joined a gang while serving his first sentence, Avontuur became involved in armed robbery and hijacking, terrorising those in the Cape Flats.

In 2013, Avontuur was sentenced to eight years in jail. During this time, the then-gangster found himself facing a separate charge that would see him incarcerated for a further 17 years. After escaping the charges against him when the case was dropped, Avontuur knew he had to make a change in his life.

“When they released me in 2017, I knew in my head, I was done with everything,” said Avontuur.

Led by his newfound faith and struggling to find a job since his release, Avontuur contacted Mark Slessenger about joining the Reintegration Programme.

Slessenger, who oversees the programme, believes that “the key thing is to create jobs and provide a platform for the guys to succeed in life. We want to see young guys who want to get out of that lifestyle have an opportunity and that is what Gangstar is doing for somebody like Clint.”

After being out of prison for two years, Avontuur talked to us at Cape Town’s Gangstar Cafe in Mowbray about how he made a U-turn in life.