A story of hope from a Zimbabwe prison

July 23, 2010

 

Reon Schutte was held captive in a notorious Zimbabwe prison for 12 years and eight months. When he was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer during his internment he started off asking, “Why me?” Then came a day when he began to ask, “What for?” The “What for?” has become Schutte’s reason for living. He now spends his time exploring the world as a motivational speaker.
 
It’s been six years since Schutte was freed fromChikurubi, essentially a death camp near Zimbabwe’s capital of Harare, where only 10 percent of inmates survive their ordeal. It’s been even longer since he received his fatal cancer diagnosis. Schutte calls wherever he’s speaking his home. Now Schutte, 50, is on a speaking tour throughout Costa Rica.
 
He’s told his story more than 800 times now. Schutte remains awed by the reactions the story always receives. “For some reason, my story just resonates everywhere I go,” Schutte said. “From billionaires and millionaires to gangs and prisoners.”
 
Mistakes in his own life led Schutte to Chikurubi. At age 12, he joined a gang in Cape Town. Four years later, he was in prison for killing a police officer. In prison, he was offered a chance to join the South African army, which he did.At age 32, he was on a cross-border mission for the South African Defense Force, when Zimbabwean forces caught him. Thus began his 26-year prison sentence.
 
For more on this story, see the July 30 print or digital edition of The Tico Times

You may be interested

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact
Weather
361 views
Weather
361 views

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact

John McPhaul - December 12, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the devastating 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…

Cold front claims fourth victim in Costa Rica
Weather
2325 views
Weather
2325 views

Cold front claims fourth victim in Costa Rica

Katherine Stanley - December 12, 2017

High winds claimed the life of a fourth victim in Costa Rica as the cold front that has been moving…

With Keylor Navas battling injuries, Real Madrid eyes January swoop for Bilbao goalie
Keylor Navas
691 views
Keylor Navas
691 views

With Keylor Navas battling injuries, Real Madrid eyes January swoop for Bilbao goalie

AFP - December 11, 2017

Real Madrid's first foray into the January transfer market will be to snap up Athletic Bilbao's promising goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga,…