Dead at 16

Nkosi­nathi and Amandla’s fun with drugs comes to a ter­ri­ble and shock­ingly tragic end.

TV Plus (South Africa) - - UZALO -

Nkosi­nathi and Amandla (Sipho Mh­longo and Lun­gelo Man­dondo) have been back and forth be­tween friend­ship and love for the past year. So when Nkosi­nathi in­tro­duced Amandla to drugs back in Oc­to­ber, he didn’t think of him­self as a pusher – just a guy shar­ing an­other ex­cit­ing new ex­pe­ri­ence with his best friend. And when Amandla had to move in with the Mdlet­she fam­ily thanks to her drug prob­lems on Mon­day 21 De­cem­ber, he was too ex­cited about it to think about how out of hand her use has be­come. “It’s a dream come true for a young man to have his crush com­ing to stay at their home,” says Sipho. But on Mon­day 28 De­cem­ber, death opens his eyes.

TOO MUCH PAIN

Nkosi­nathi di­alled back his own drug use af­ter he was healed from his paral­y­sis on Wed­nes­day 18 Novem­ber. He doesn’t re­alise that he and Amandla aren’t on the same page any­more – on Tues­day 22 De­cem­ber, Amandla stole his mom Zandile’s (Leleti Khu­malo) watch to pay for drugs – just af­ter they’d kissed and con­fessed their love to one an­other. “After that, his per­cep­tion of Amandla changes,” ad­mits Sipho. Steal­ing that watch is the last straw for Amandla’s fam­ily too. They tell her that they’re send­ing her out of town to re­hab on Wed­nes­day 23 De­cem­ber and ter­ri­fied, she runs out and gives her phone to a dealer in ex­change for more drugs. Then Amandla pleads one last time with Muzi Xulu (Mpumelelo Bhu­lose) on Mon­day 28 De­cem­ber to just be a fa­ther to her. When he re­fuses, she sees ev­ery­thing be­ing taken from her.

EMO­TION OVER­LOAD

Amandla crawls back to her room at the Mdlet­she house to light up and make the world go away. Over­whelmed, she never thinks about the pos­si­bil­ity of smok­ing too much. “Nkosi­nathi is the one to dis­cover her body,” re­veals Sipho. “His mom asks him to look for Amandla, so he goes into the place she sleeps and when Nkosi­nathi comes in, he finds her sprawled on the floor.” Nkosi­nathi’s scream of fear and loss brings ev­ery­one run­ning. “I have never dis­cov­ered any­one who was dead, so I had to per­son­alise the sit­u­a­tion,” says Sipho. “Lun­gelo ly­ing there did give an im­pres­sion of some­body who’s dead – es­pe­cially when you have make-up. I re­mem­ber at some point in the scene, she has bub­bles com­ing out her mouth. That helps you to make the sit­u­a­tion more real in your mind. It af­fected me a lot.”

SAY­ING GOOD­BYE, FOR GOOD

While pain made Amandla vul­ner­a­ble to us­ing drugs again, Nkosi­nathi has the op­po­site re­ac­tion as he joins with his fam­ily to bury his first love on Mon­day 4 Jan­uary. Griev­ing with her brother Master­mind (Ntokozo Dlamini) and sis­ter Sma (Sihle Nd­aba) and be­ing com­forted by his brother Ayanda (Kay Sibiya), Nkosi­nathi feels no de­sire for any other kind of com­fort. “After Amandla’s death, he re­alises that drugs are some­thing he doesn’t ever want to mess with or as­so­ciate him­self with. He wants noth­ing to do with it,” says Sipho.

Trou­bled Amandla over­doses but Nkosi­nathi and

his fam­ily are too late.

Amandla tries to smoke her pain away.

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