Quinton Pieters, who was sentenced to 163 years in prison for various crimes, remains hopeful that one day he will reclaim his freedom.

The nbc News team paid a visit to the inmate serving Namibia's longest sentence at the Evaristus Shikongo Correctional Facility outside Tsumeb.

Quinton Pieters, born in Keetmanshoop, says that as part of a gang, he has been in and out of jail since 1993 for committing different crimes.

His current sentence is not only his longest but also the longest prison sentence being served in the country, at 163 years for robbery, murder, and rape.

He started serving his sentence in Windhoek in 2012, following five years in police custody.

"I was 26 when I came here; it was 2007; and now this year I will be 42, so you cannot bring the past back, but as a human being, you need to change your ways as life goes on and you mature; you cannot do those things, and so on."

With a sentence way beyond human life expectancy, one would think all his dreams lie shattered, with no hope of ever being free again.

"I want to go out as a changed man; I want to have a woman to marry, and so on. This is basically when it must happen, and this is something that only a human being can change, and the life inside here is not a good life."

He takes part in rehabilitation programs offered at the facility and says he has learned a lot while serving part of his sentence at the Oluno Correctional Facility.

Four years ago, he was moved to the Evaristus Shikongo Correctional Facility.

His daily activities also involve cleaning his living space and kitchen and watching television.

Pieters has also begun work on his dream to start numerous initiatives, such as a soccer club, a security company, and other businesses offering general services.

"One day I want to go to America and make friends because I like that country, and one day when I come back, I want to open businesses to fight poverty."

Unfortunately, the officer in charge of Pieters' unit says that even if he is released on parole, that would only be possible after his 100th birthday.

Another offender serving out a sentence for murder and robbery since age 26 is 41-year-old Samuel Eichab.

He hails the facility where he is held, both for teaching him skills and keeping him busy but also for providing an opportunity to learn more about God.

"When I came into prison, I invited God into my life and started confessing my sins and starting to repent; I also realized that the life I used to have outside the facility was actually not worth it, and that's when I started seeing the need to make adjustments in my own life."

Eichab is serving a prison sentence of 20 years.

He now boasts a strong relationship with God and hopes to be ordained as a pastor upon his release.

The inmates urged the younger generation, especially men, not to trade their freedom for jail time, saying time waits for no one.

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Eveline Paulus