‘I just want my family back’ Drug addict thief confesses
‘HIDE your wallets, Muzi is in the house’
Whenever Muzi (23) enters the room, relatives and friends whisper these words as a way of warning each other.
It’s a reminder for them to hide their belongings, as valuables always seem to disappear around Muzi.
For over five years, this young man from eSikhaleni has been addicted to heavy drugs such as whoonga and mandrax, and he steals to support his cravings.
His drug addiction has not only destroyed his relationship with the family; he has also been labelled the dark sheep of the clan.
‘I have abused my family, and stolen from them to feed my drug addiction.
‘Now they don’t want anything to do with me. I am an outcast because of my behaviour and I will do anything to win back their trust.
‘Being addicted to whoonga turned me into a thief and I have stolen things from the house, from appliances to wallets and even clothes.
‘I can’t help myself, because when you are addicted you will do anything for the next fix,’ he explained.
Muzi’s drug problem started five years ago when he started at a new high school.
‘I was away from home and met a group of friends who were into these drugs.
‘I thought it was cool because I was already a cigarette and dagga smoker. I just wanted to have a new taste, not knowing I would get addicted.
‘At first I thought it would be easy to quit when I wanted to, but it was much more difficult than I thought.
‘I didn’t have money to feed my addiction as I was still in school and that’s when I started stealing items from the house,’ he said.
When Muzi was deep into his addiction, he dropped out of school and became a full-time smoker.
Working with a crew of other addicts, they started breaking into people’s homes to steal items to sell on the streets.
‘It was the only way to make money to buy drugs. The problem with whoonga is that it makes you sick and you constantly need a fix, and if you don’t have money, the only way is to steal or to mug people.
‘Because of the ingredients used to make this drug, when you smoke it you get a great high but once it wears off in the system, trouble begins.
‘It’s not like craving for a cigarette but a painful experience. It’s not normal because you suffer from severe stomach cramps, which we call ‘aroster’.
‘When you suffer from these pains, you will do anything to get rid of the pain,’ explained Muzi.
But this young man says he wants to turn over a new leaf and regain his family’s trust.
According to Muzi his greatest regret is what his criminal ways did to his relationship with his family.
‘I can’t do this by myself but need help. I was never a bad boy but the addiction turned me into this hooligan,’ he said.
‘I want my life back, I want to finish school and be a contributing member of society.
‘I want my family to trust me again and I will do anything to get my life back on track,’ he said.
During the interview, the Zululand Observer referred Muzi to the South African National Council on Alcoholism and drug Dependency (SANCA) in Empangeni, with confidence the centre will give him all the help he needs. Do you want to tell your tale in our ‘My Story’ feature with the objective of raising awareness and understanding of different life experiences? Email zu[email protected] co.za