Obak­eng’s not dead. But he’s a changed man when he re­turns!

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Isidingo Week­days SABC3 (*193) 19:00

Trou­ble­maker Obak­eng (Anga Makubalo) is alive and in­ter­rupts his own memo­rial ser­vice on Thurs­day 16 March. Con­vinced that her son died when he didn’t re­turn from a deal in early March, Nina (Khabon­ina Qubeka) is “ter­ri­bly con­fused” when she sees him. “The mis­sion Nina sent him on went wrong and Obak­eng was held hostage. He even­tu­ally es­caped, but what he went through has scarred him for life,” Anga ex­plains.


The Zamde­las are de­lighted to have him back, as are his girl­friend Aphiwe (Khanya Mkangisa) and baby­mama Kamo (Mak­gotso M). But some­thing isn’t right – Obak­eng breaks down scream­ing on the she­been floor on Mon­day 20 March and he starts fights with strangers at the bar, which baf­fles Grampa Ge­orgie (Dar­ling­ton Michaels).

Anga says that Obak­eng is hav­ing flash­backs to what hap­pened while he was be­ing held by thugs. “He was tor­tured. They beat him and whipped him, leav­ing him scarred phys­i­cally and men­tally,” he re­veals. “The night­mares and flash­backs help view­ers see what he went through and what he thinks he’s go­ing through now.” And it gets worse – “He’s go­ing to have what looks like epilep­tic fits,” Anga says, adding that Obak­eng is los­ing his mind “like a sol­dier re­turn­ing from war”.


Hav­ing watched her son de­te­ri­o­rate dur­ing the week, Nina is ready to get pro­fes­sional help by Fri­day 24 March. But she’s not in time and later that day Obak­eng has another episode. Kamo’s on hand to help and “they re­alise that he calms down when he talks to their un­born baby. He feels like he has a pur­pose,” says Anga. Nina gets an ap­point­ment with a doc­tor on Mon­day 27 March and af­ter a cou­ple of tests, it’s con­firmed that Obak­eng’s suf­fer­ing from post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der, a men­tal health con­di­tion trig­gered by a trou­bling event.

But while they know what they’re deal­ing with now, the Zamde­las also re­alise that Obak­eng may never re­cover from his ordeal. “There are treat­ments available for him, but there is no quick and easy so­lu­tion,” ex­plains Anga. “It’s go­ing to take a long, long time be­fore Obak­eng is awo­ken from this ter­ri­ble dream that he’s liv­ing.”

Obak­eng is trau­ma­tised and ter­ri­fied and not in con­trol of his mind.

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