Sunday Aug 21, 2022

#7 Forgiveness is freedom - Rusty Labuschagne, innocently imprisoned for ten years

Ten years in a Zimbabwean prison for a crime that never happened. Innocent and totally stripped of his dignity. Rusty Labuschagne faced hardships most of us will never be able to imagine.

In a heartbeat and totally unexpected, Rusty's life changed from being a successful self-made businessman, flying his own aircraft, owning expensive cars and boats to being framed and put behind bars - experiencing the most horrendous and devastating conditions in a high security prison cell with 78 others and millions of lice.

His time in prison taught the humble Zimbabwean how priceless freedom is, especially that of the mind(!), how important it is to maintain a positive mindset (no matter the circumstances), how powerful it is to be grateful for even the smallest things and how liberating it is to truly forgive. These life lessons and more is what Rusty shares with us in this episode.

How can someone forgive those that took ten years of his life? “Forgiveness is freedom”, Rusty explains to me and without forgiving he would not have made it through those incredibly tough ten years. The day he let go of the immense bitterness and truly forgave, Rusty felt a giant weight fall off his shoulders. Forgiving, he says, is something you do for yourself, not for others. Also, he emphasizes: not being in prison does not necessarily equal being free. He sees clearly that freedom is the ability to make a choice and act on it; to let go of what you cannot control and to be free from negativity.

„We all carry a hero inside us“, Rusty says today. Even in the hardest of times in the Zimbabwean high security prison, he was convinced that there was a bigger reason behind all of it and tried to find hope in the smallest of things.

Rusty's life today is filled with gratitude, love and true freedom. Due to his positive mindset, he was able to recover and heal the wounds from those terrible years in prison.He is married to his wonderful wife Sandra who is a huge gift and tremendous support. 

Rusty works as a successful global keynote speaker and shares his inspiring story with audiences from all over the world. I first met Rusty at a conference in Singapore and can still remember the goosebumps I had for the entire duration of his captivating speech. 

I am grateful to share with you this inspiring story of resilience, strength and hope. Thank you, Rusty, for sharing it with us in this episode and for reminding us of the value of forgiveness, freedom and gratitude. 

Order now: Rusty's book "Beating Chains"
Learn more about Rusty or book him as a speaker: 


Do you want to learn more about Sonja Piontek? Book her as a motivational speaker, get inspired by her? 







Sonja’s National Geographic Buch „SONNENGEFLÜSTER“

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