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A female gangster’s confession

Written by on May 20, 2024

“Gunshots, knife wounds, drugs and running for my life was my life among men.”

These are the words of *Carrington Narises (34) about her life as a former gangster.

Narises hails from the tough streets of Hakahana in Windhoek.

With a mix of bravery and remorse, Narises shares her journey, revealing the harsh realities she faced and the choices she made.

Growing up in a neighbourhood where survival was a daily struggle, she found herself drawn into the world of gangs at a young age.

“I didn’t have much of a choice because I dropped out of school in Grade 8 because of hunger,” she admits, reflecting on her troubled childhood.

Narises says with absent parents and few opportunities, joining a gang seemed like the only way to find protection and support.

She says as a woman in a male-dominated environment, she faced unique challenges.

“They didn’t take me seriously at first but I was just as fast as they were. I have been arrested so many times and I will tell you that prison is not a nice place,” she says.

“I had to be tough to survive. I grew up poor and I didn’t even finish school because of hunger,” Narises says.

She recalls how life in the gang was far from glamorous and confesses to being involved a variety of criminal activities, from selling drugs to participating in armed robberies.

Despite the dangers and the moral dilemmas, Narises found a sense of belonging in the gang.

“We were like a family,” she says, describing the group of six men and one woman.

“We looked out for each other, no matter what.”

But beneath unity, betrayal always lurked.

“It was very difficult to have the one person arrested and not snitch on where the rest of the others were, I did it myself, I think everyone has done it,” admits Narises.

As she grew older, she began to question her choices and the path she had chosen.

“I didn’t want this life for myself,” she admits, her voice filled with determination.

With the help of a mentor and support from her community, she started to envision a different future for herself, one free from the darkness of her past.

Now, as she reflects on her journey, Narises is determined to break free from the cycle of violence and crime.

“I want to be a better person and now that I have a children, I would not want them to follow my past experiences but rather be inspired by the person I am becoming.

“That life will not take you anywhere but to an early grave and I believe that everyone deserves a second chance, including me,” she says as she looks towards the future.

According to Carman George (46), a family member of Narises, her former life was worrisome.

“I was always worried for her because I knew of the kind of things she would do to get money. I used to sit down with her and encourage her to quit these things of robbing people but it took her a while to finally realise her mistakes,” George says.

Although Narises is currently unemployed, it is best she remains unemployed rather than robbing people for a living, George adds.
*Not her real name

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