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LEGENDARY musician Freddie Gwala has confessed to once being a criminal who used to steal cars and says music saved his life.
The king of zumba music from Meadowlands zone 9, Soweto, said he spent almost 10 years in prison for stealing cars in the 1980s.
“Music saved my life. I don’t want to commit crime anymore because prison is hell,” he told Daily Sun.
“I learnt a new life in prison, and it was the worst place I have ever been. I want to tell people crime doesn’t pay and prison is hell,” he said.
Freddie also said that in prison you cry for help and no one will hear you as your mother is not there.
“I want to tell those who say prison is nice that they are lying. I was there and prison is terrible.”
He said the most painful thing is that other prisoners take food from you and leave you with nothing.
“I feel pity for those who love eating a lot of food because in prison gangsters will give you a lot of food but you will have to pay dearly for eating their food.
Freddie said that he was a very naughty child and that ultimately landed him in prison.
After his release, he decided to sing about prison life to warn people that jail is not a hotel but hell.
He said that he sometimes visits prison and most prisoners love his music.
“Prisoners call me General and because of their respect of my music, I love them. I want to tell them that when they are released they must change and live a good life,” he said.
He said that he wears ispantsula because most prisoners like such a regalia.
Freddie said he founded the gospel group Pure Gold in 1973 and many people love it.
He released his debut album, Amadamara, in 1992.
Freddie Gwala with other four members, including Richard Makhubele and Diana Maseko, founded Imisebe Yelanga organisation in 2020 which is helping artists.
He said is busy in the studio working on a new album that will be released around June this year.