Gcobani Mndini, a shy, lanky 17-year-old, said he was already a gangster by the time he started ninth grade. His small gang, which called itself the Tomatoes, was robbing people, fighting over girls and getting high on Jack Daniel’s and marijuana.
“I joined the gang because I wanted to belong,” he said.
He has since found that he fits in the last place he might have expected — at a private high school that is reinventing education for teenagers from South Africa’s black townships.
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