"I needed to change, because my antics robbed me of an opportunity to pass matric, I had more enemies than friends. I joined Brothers for Life and learnt about health, self-respect and what it really means to be a man."
He attributes his ugly past to peer pressure, which for him meant proving his worth by having money and showing physical strength by moering his many sexual partners. He robbed spaza shops for money. "I used to feel good about being the most feared man in the neighbourhood. I can't reverse my past but can change my present and future. The best I can do now is to share my knowledge about the good values that define men."
Mdzipa, who lives with his mother of his son and partner of six years, Brenda Masango, describes his relationship with Masango as "the best thing that ever happened to him" For Masango it was not an easy decision even to talk to him. "I had seen him being violent to people. He approached me and said he loved me and I shouldn't fear anything as he had changed. It's six years and he has never threatened me in any way. We are happy together and proud parents of our son."
Brothers for Life facilitator Pule Goqo believes that no man was born abusive. "The change starts with you. Octovius is one of many men who are leading a positive life and contributing to the development of others," he said.
If you are dealing with gender based violence, call free helpline 0800 150 150.