Former gang member and ex-convict Gbaby transforms his life music

Former Cape Town gangster Gbaby transforms his life through music

Gbaby gives an ode to the gangster life after going in search of a better life. He recently pursued his passion for music and released his single, 'Blessed'.


Gerald Petersen, known as Gbaby, was born and raised in Cape Town. We all know the city has a problem with gangs and he was in one of them. Fortunately, he was able to transform his life through a passion for music. He chats to Keri about his inspiring journey. 

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Petersen was a gangster 20 years ago when he was a teenager. He does not refer to himself as a 'former gang member'. It is a lifestyle that most people find hard to leave because of fear of being hurt or being killed for making this brave choice. 

Take a listen to the reasons he joined the gang at that time: 

Unfortunately, he lost his brother last year to suicide and his life took an ever sharper turn. He became intentional about the contributions he makes in his community, especially to inspire the youth. It is also the reason he chose to call himself Gbaby, which stands for 'God's baby'.

The gangsterism made him feel like he was part of a something, there was a sense of community in being with other people going through the same problems as him during his vulnerable teen years. 

Gbaby did not let his gangster background stop him from further pursuing a career in the arts. He was always aware of his passion in the entertainment industry. He put himself through college doing sociology and became a fitness trainer.

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 He also co-founded a non-profit organisation (NPO) called Hope Street in 2016.

 Now, take a listen to how he launched into the music industry: 

Supplied by Gbaby

The Cape Town artist released his single, Blessed, on Friday, 26 March 2021. Listen to the song here.

He has forgiven himself for his dark past and taken a stance to inspire the youth and his community through music. Gbaby believes that people, with the right amount of love and support, are able to change their lives regardless of the crimes they have committed. 

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On Keri's Couch, he also shares that his father and his brother have lived the gangster life. With this, he highlights that it is usually a cycle and it starts with the youth creating a difference so that the next generation do not feel the need to become a gangster to feel worthy or accepted. 

Gbaby delves into more personal experiences regarding his past life as a gangster, his current community work, and ways in which society can play a huge role creating safe spaces for trouble teenagers. 

Take a listen to the full podcast below: 

"A blessing makes you put things into perspective. You realise it's the pull back that propels you forward", he further shares with Keri in the podcast. "It's the people who survive who reap the rewards going forward." 

He has truly moved forward being a signed artist with Gallo Records, a fitness trainer, completing his degree and inspiring the youth in his community with his music and the NGO, Hope Street. 

His future is looking so much brighter regardless of everything that could have stopped him and made that impossible. 


Main Image Courtesy: @gbabycapetown

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