'Gam­bling al­most COST ME MY LIFE'

Mother of three lived with the shame­ful se­cret of her ad­dic­tion for 15 years

Move! - - TRUE LIFE - By Vin­cent Phahlane

ON the sur­face, Masego Kwe­n­amore (41) is liv­ing a happy and ful­filled life. But things were not al­ways rosy for the mother of three, who used to be ad­dicted to gam­bling. For 15 years, Masego strug­gled with the self-de­struc­tive be­haviour that comes with be­ing an ad­dict.

HOW THE AD­DIC­TION STARTED

Masego says she had a fas­ci­na­tion with winning money from a young age, think­ing it would be the an­swer to her strug­gles.

“I started play­ing slot ma­chines at the age of 24 in 1998 at a casino in Gaut­eng all be­cause I saw some­one winning the R1 mil­lion jack­pot. I then told my­self that when I got paid, I would try my luck, which I now re­gret,” says Masego, adding that it was one of the many bad de­ci­sions she will re­gret for the rest of her life.

She says one of the things that got her ad­dicted to gam­bling was her self-es­teem as she didn’t feel good about her­self.

“I was so ob­sessed with gam­bling I even thought people at the casino knew me. One day I went to the casino wear­ing dark shades and some­thing on my head so that they couldn’t recog­nise me. But the reality is that the people there didn’t even care if I lost or won,” she says.

GAM­BLING COST HER HER MAR­RIAGE

She says her ad­dic­tion to gam­bling got to a point where she couldn’t con­trol her­self and she sold her hus­band's car.

“I sold my hus­band’s car for R3 000. I then told him that I got in­volved in a car ac­ci­dent and told the other driver that be­cause we didn’t have car in­surance, I would give him my hus­band's car to re­cover the costs. My hus­band be­lieved me when I told him this,” she says.

Masego is a char­tered ac­coun­tant and says she al­most lost her job due to her ad­dic­tion. “I even sold my work lap­top to a pawn shop. I was

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