Prison was a kind of catharsis that changed me quite a bit. This is what Chief Andre Tokev said in the “120 Minutes” show.
“I had prepared myself mentally even before I was going in. I wanted to go in so I could feel the punishment and be able to change. I think I was quite prepared mentally and I wanted as much as possible to get the positive and not the negative out of the stay I was in prison, and that’s why I had a completely different attitude. My attitude was to change, to reap the dividends of this stint, and that’s what I did,” said Chief Tokev.
He added that on his own initiative he started cooking in the prison and 80 to 100 percent of the prisoners started eating in the canteen against 30 percent before.
He said that a Serb there thought he was the head of a large Bulgarian group because they called him “Chief Tokev”.
There we perceive ourselves as normal people, there is no talk of who did what, Andre Tokev said.
“Most people there are quite adequate and you can talk to each other quite normally on various topics. But once you find out what they’re in for, it gets a little weird, you don’t back down, but you look for meaning and parallel, and sometimes you can’t find it,” he added.
I don’t go back to the past because nothing happened. I went to prison, I changed and that’s the important thing, he was emphatic.
Tokev added that he first had to change regarding alcohol.
“I rarely drink and cannot stand alcohol. Then and with the fatigue I was in a blackout and I don’t remember most of the things that happened. And that’s why I drastically said that I will no longer drink alcohol, as long as the body does not tolerate it. I am happy because many of my acquaintances and friends no longer drink and drive. I have motivated many people not to drink and drive.
Tokev said that he does not drink alcohol and cannot tolerate it.
“I like to smell certain drinks that I cook with or wine, but I don’t need to drink alcohol and I don’t feel like drinking.”
The master chef shared that the hardest conversation was with his daughter.
“I have one view on life – one learns from mistakes and one becomes better by being able to realize one’s mistakes and plan a better future.” Maybe what happened should have happened so that I could live the next page of my life in a different way,” he added.
Tokev said that what happened helped him realize his free time.
“I structure it differently now, even the patience I developed in prison. I was used to everything happening now, on a pedal, but in prison I learned to be aware, to wait a moment, to take a deep breath. Now I look more consciously, philosophically and allow myself more time for certain actions, so that they are not violent”, commented Tokev.
According to him, prison plays a good role in realizing your mistake. He said that it was during this period that he realized who his friends were.
“I saw who the friends were, there were people who pulled away, but really close friends constantly supported my family, cared about how I was, what was happening. In extreme situations, you see who is behind you,” noted the master chef.
For me it is very important that we stay positive, it is very important that we respect each other, he said in an address to the public.
“Sometimes a person makes a mistake, like I made a mistake, but we have to be able to help each other and accept the opinion of the person who stands against you, because sometimes things happen that you didn’t want either. The most important thing is to be together, support each other, be united and move forward positively,” Andre Tokev added.
From the mistakes and difficulties we experience, we can become much stronger, he said.