Letswalo said he had to ignore encouragement from youngsters praising him for serving prison time in London while his family fell apart.
The Atteridgeville man said he found himself having to make a tough choice between walking home with his wife and daughter, 4, or to his criminal friends holding a bag of money.
This happened in 2009 when Letswalo was released from Her Majesty Prison The Verne. He realised that his wife had lost so much weight and his daughter afraid to even touch him after he had spent more than a year in the foreign jail.
Letswalo said he had turned his life around to become an anti-drugs activist. He helps youngsters to beat drug addiction and acquire skills to find employment.