‘I just want my fam­ily back’ Drug ad­dict thief con­fesses

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - ZO NEWS - Welling­ton Mak­wakwa

‘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

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