A Rocklands prison missionary, who has dedicated more than three decades of her life to counselling awaiting-trial prisoners and convicted criminals, tells her story in a newly launched biography.
Shona Allie, 67, goes to Pollsmoor prison every week and travels to national and international prisons every year to give hope to those incarcerated. After her weekly visits, she would meet with Heather Tredoux, from Tokai, over a cup of tea and peanut butter sandwiches.
Ms Tredoux, the former director of a correspondence Bible school in Claremont, would write up the stories of the prison visits, which eventually led to her penning and documenting Ms Allie’s life mission in Shona Allie’s Call to Prison Ministries, which was launched in the hall of the Voice of Prophecy Bible School, in Grove Avenue, Claremont, on Wednesday July 10.
Ms Allie told those in attendance that 25 years imprisonment was considered a life sentence and that she had wondered out loud, when she would be “released” on parole after her more than 30 years of mission work.
“The men I counsel, who call me Ma in prison, say I’m a general for Jesus ‘You’re a number now,’ they tell me,” she said.
She said gangsterism was wrong and that often members die young but that she was glad to speak to and pray for those wanting to change.
“People must learn to pray. Ask God to help and guide you,” she said.
Her daughters, Dr Deliah Allie, from Edgemead, who has a doctorate in education, and Feroza Moosa and Faiza Jacobs, both from Rocklands, said they were proud of their mother, who beat the odds to survive.
The book documents Ms Allie’s early years, years of abuse, before converting from Islam back to Christianity, and the sequence of events in her life between 1988 and 2019.
Namesoffamilyand those incarcerated have been changed to respect their privacy.
Ms Tredoux said proceeds from the book would be used to support Ms Allie’s mission to continue reminding inmates of God’s love. She said she followed God’s instructions in the second book of John to write words, document and meticulously record the stories Ms Allies told her.
The two women met when Ms Allies frequented the Bible correspondence school.
“Shona used to breeze into our front door with a large plastic bag filled with addresses of people she had met on her travels; people on trains, buses or planes – shopkeepers, teachers, labourers, doctors, gardeners, prisoners – whoever crossed her path,” reads Ms Tredoux’s introduction.
The book costs R100 and is available in Claremont. Those interested in buying a copy, can call Ms Tredoux at 021 712 3546, 083 783 3456 or Ms Allie at 079 467 9148.