Two Alex youngsters who returned home to a heroes’ welcome after a six-week detoxification rehabilitation programme at Witpoort Treatment Centre in Randfontein have vowed to maintain clean lives forever.
With certificates as proof, Tabane Motsoai (21) and John Lemao (29) went to rehab with two others, Daniel Lesole (22) and Lungi Themba (20), and said they all were weaned off drugs.
Their initial journey was narrated in the article, Four nyaope addicts go to rehab, Week ending Jan 23.
They apologised profusely to their families and those they had wronged during their addiction and asked for forgiveness.
The parents became tearful during the welcome, and the other addicts who were there lauded their commitment. Their surrogate mother and carer, Kuki Mokwena, who fed and clothed them from her two-roomed flat in Phase 1, 8th Avenue when the community rejected, hated and assaulted them for the ills they had done, said she felt fulfilled.
The welcome of cake, soft drinks and food seemed encouraging to the drowsy, dazed-looking, lethargic, drooping and unsteady addicts who confessed envy of their clean and self-assured appearance.
The adage, where there is a will there is a way rang true for these two.
Blaming lack of self-control and peer pressure from schoolmates and friends, Motsoai said his two-year nyaope addiction led to his ill-discipline, dropping out of Grade 11 and stealing anything of value to sustain his habit. “It led to an animal-like life on the streets, and the community beating me for theft while I had a home and mother who was desperate to look after and care for me as the only child. “I let her and the community down and ask for forgiveness. The [treatment at rehab gave us] life skills on how to be and stay sober, and the mind and self-control skills changed my life,”
Motsoai said that the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was enjoyable, rewarding and empowering. “I recommend it to all willing to kick the drug habit.” He said he intends to return to school, saying education will guarantee him a better life.
Lemao also attributed his addiction to bad company which started in high school, resulting in him dropping out in Grade 11 in 2012. “It continued while I hung around friends at a car wash and got me fired while working as a driver.
“I spent all my salary on drugs, contributed nothing to my good and devoted family which provoked a fight with my worried dad.”
He said strict family rules forced him to sneak home late at night but it became unbearable and he moved into an addict friend’s home. “We eventually got ourselves kicked out of his strict family environment and into a hostile street life where survival and sustaining the habit relied on robbery, housebreaking and theft for drug money.”
Revealing scars on his head, Lemao said he realised that he was going nowhere after a beating by residents in 2015 for stealing cellphones. “By then, I was tired of a costly, risky and drugged daily life and pretending to be a ‘clever’, yet acting like a demon.”
Mokwena was their saviour, she sent the four to rehab after they confessed their desire. “I encourage others to save their lives by doing the same,” he said while pledging to remain clean, start a family, look for a steady job, care for his ageing parents and reunite with his three siblings with whom he wants to mend relationships.
Read: Bust for drugs and bribe
Lemao intends partnering substance abuse agencies and the police to motivate youth against drugs. “It worried me to see many from other townships enrolling for rehab with none from Alex, while I know many of them need this help.”
Siphokazi Mphahlwana of Alex Police Station youth desk welcomed his intention.
Details: Kuki Mokwena 072 243 3180.