Breaking Free: Oscar Pambuka shares his path from incarceration to inspiration

Breaking Free: Oscar Pambuka shares his path from incarceration to inspiration

In this exclusive interview with Ronald Gwatidzo (RG), Oscar Pambuka (OP), renowned broadcaster and former inmate, shares his candid reflections on his experiences during and after his time in prison. The conversation delves into his initial reaction to the judgment, his perceptions of the prison system, and his aspirations for the future.

Oscar recounts the shock and fear he felt upon hearing the judgment, likening it to a death sentence. He reflects on whether he was aware of committing a crime and discusses the transformative journey he underwent while incarcerated.

Despite the challenges, he found solace in personal growth, prayer, and his role as a mentor and advocate within the prison community.

RG: let’s first talk about the day of judgment, how did you react to the news?

OP: Well, the judgement induced a lot of shock I must say, and I was paralysed with a lot of fear of the unknown. It was as if I had been sentenced to death.

RG: In your consciousness did you know that you were committing a crime? How did that transpire?

OP: To be honest that case is now water under the bridge, and I thank God that I was acquitted and discharged. That becomes the paramount thing.

RG: A lot of things are said about prison, what was your worst experiences?

OP: To be honest, the worst situations made me a better man. These situations include missing my children, my parents, my business and my role in nation building, peace development and charity. I personally thank the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services for they played a big part in my metamorphosis. Yes, it’s not a place to be, but this is the place I discovered myself fully in solitude and Godly wisdom. Doing the same things at times is boring but we survived the mental training.

RG: As a well-known brand how did you find the stay in prison?

OP: Well, my stay in prison was a blessing in disguise.  I learnt a lot of lessons such as the ability to study social psychology practically. In prison it’s a mixture of beliefs, cultures, and traditions but we live in peace, love, and harmony in that world. We share our struggles, pains, and victories. Being known connected me to an assortment of characters. I used my God given talent to promote others doing arts and crafts. I also worked as a spokesperson for the inmates at various platforms including anti- drug awareness campaigns across the country. So, my stay was full of action, personal correction, and prayer.

RG: What are some of the take home points from the experience?

OP: There are plenty. In prison we never wasted any second. I learnt to use my time and resources productively. I learnt to be humble and respectful to all. Prison made me gain good weight imagine and if I had not passed through the gates, maybe I would have been a bygone. Prison teaches you to believe in yourself and not to feel sorry for yourself. It strengthened the inner man. Prison taught me the essence of this life.

RG: What could be your general overview of Zimbabwean prisons and correctional services?

OP: Well, I must say that the ZPCS is doing a lot in as far as rehabilitating inmates though they lack resources to fully conduct their mandate. Yes, it’s not all rosy at the prisons but I believe in forming strategic alliances. This helps to ease the pressure on the already overcrowded prisons. The prisons require support in health provision, water and sanitation, food, and other necessities.

RG: Now that you’re out, where does Oscar start from?

OP: I am a faithful person in my walk of life. I never doubt the plans God has for my life. If it is God’s, will I want to pursue my broadcasting career. I am grateful for the Lord’s grace which has taken me this far and I believe I have a role to play in content creation. Whilst in prison we used to go out at schools, churches, shopping centres and so on under the zero tolerance to drugs program. We have been giving personal testimonies of the dangers of drugs and I want to continue in this vein regionally and internationally. If God allows, I will also venture into tourism and mining. I should hasten to say that planning is the first ingredient in any endeavour, and we never ignore such a virtue. So, we are not starting but God has renewed my mind. The old things have gone. We trust in the Lord in everything.

RG: Will we see Oscar on Television again?

OP: Yes, off course you will see Oscar Pambuka again both on the small and big screen. That’s my DNA and I can never see myself abandoning my gift. I think people will now see the restored, resurrected, and glorified Pambuka. But I am going to start with my own podcast and develop it into an international broadcasting network. There are abundant stories to tell and tv is one media I will vividly utilise.

RG: What is the aspiration now that Oscar is renewed?

OP: To remain focused on my Godly assignment. May God demonstrate His Almighty power in all spheres of my life. To give the unheard voice an opportunity to be heard and build my country to the fullest.

Ngonidzashe Ronald Gwatidzo

Ronald Ngonidzashe Gwatidzo is a young, multi talented, self motivated and spiritual driven individual who believes in hard work, resilience, energy and dedication. He is a content creator, writer, actor, broadcast anchor, producer and presenter. He is also an enthusiastic educator and goal getter.

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