Peter Christians went from prison to the bright lights of the Baxter Theatre. Picture: Supplied

Cape Town - An aspiring stage actor has not allowed a stint in prison to hold him back from what he wants from life.

At the age of 18, Peter Christians was sentenced to six years in Pollsmoor Prison for a violent crime, but has changed his life dramatically and is now an actor with his name in lights.

Christians, who was released from prison in 2008, landed a role in the popular play #JustMen, which is at the Baxter Theatre for its second run.

“I went into prison a teenager and came out as a man physically, but mentally I struggled to integrate with people my age. It was like mentally my life had stood still,” he said.

While at Pollsmoor, he developed a passion for rapping and this motivated him to use the art form for changing his life and those of others.

His rap career began in prison, where he founded the Ik-Crew. Incarcerated Knowledge, his 14-track debut album was released in 2010. The documentary titled Incarcerated Knowledge portrayed his experience of changing from a reformed convict to a rap artist. It was screened at the 2012 Encounters South African International Documentary Festival.

He has featured as the mascot for Stellenbosch University’s Wow project and writing the theme song, Wow.

While in prison in 2007 he played the role of Cicero in Jail Caesar, a film directed by Paul Schoolman. The film was shot in three working prisons.

Christians told the Weekend Argus that he did not wait for opportunities to come to him, but rather kept pushing to create his own once he got out.

Weekend Argus