THE BEGINNING OF MY LIFE

My name is Njabulo Gumede I am an addict. I’m from Cato Manor but I was adopted by social workers from Sherwood Children welfare. They treated me very well, as I was an orphan.
We were all wanting one thing in our lives, we wanted to get our families. As orphans, we always needed to adopted by someone who visited us there in children welfare. As I grew up I found my aunt, who was my only family. She was not really my aunt, but she became like family to me. So things were hard for me then. In the following days she showed me my parents graves. This made me feel lonely when I was thinking about this. After that I started to smoking heroin, as I was being influenced by my friends. They were always saying: “ Take it. No problem. It will take pain away’’
On top of that I was still in school. Chesterville Secondary. I was doing grade 11. It was 2015. That was when I started smoking whoonga. I failed grade 11. I tried again and I passed. After that I started to get sick from heroin withdrawals. What we call the roster. I couldn’t concentrate on what I was doing at school, even my girl friend dumped me then I met one other girl walking home from school. She lives Mlazi BB section and she’s really nice.
After that I failed grade 12 [matric]. The craving hit me, I felt pain. I couldn’t do other things on my own, because I was so lazy. I was getting all kinds of pains so they kicked me out from the Home that I had been staying in when I was younger. When I reached 18 of age, they kicked anyone over 18 out, because they say I m old enough to be a man. In those days I was so confused about my family. I needed to be with them because things were becoming worse and my Aunt didn’t like me because I was busy smoking heroin.
After that I decided to stay out side in the road, or under the bridge. I haven’t any clothes except these I had on when I left home, and I’m getting so dirty I think they growing on me. I used to hustle to make money. This was mostly car-guarding and collecting tins cans. I was avoiding to steal from people close to me. Then one day I decided to quit this drug. On that day I got mugged and my phone was stolen. I felt I had enough of this life. I didn’t know how to do it on my own. From that day I was asking everyone close to
me how can I stop smoking whoonga? I kept on searching for help. On the 09 of June 2017, it was a Thursday, I met up with Malusi Mbatha. He was my friend from Cato Manor, where I stayed. He said to me he can help me by putting me in a T.B and HIV care center. They deal with people who have been smoking drugs. He asked me if I want to join in. I said YEEEESSSSSS I would like that a lot. On 23July 2017 I was there. They accepted me with kindness as their patient. First I had to have an E.C.G with the doctor. I had to wait for the doctor to come to work, the next day. I thought he was already there. Likely everything we did well. I started to take medication, actually we called it Methadone. I was so happy because I told my self that all my dreams will come true. I have told my self that I’m quitting this drug, because it has messed my life. After all that I met up with other guys just like me. I felt so happy that I’m not the only one with this problem. So I had to step up and take responsible for my self, and put plates on the table and pay for water and electricity.
So now I am able to bath and stay clean and pay for my food and clothes. And I carried on with medication I felt like a normal person cause I could do any job anytime. That made me very happy. I even bought a new cell phone for my self and Im still renting a room, there by my possie. In all the things I have done I thank the OST Program, TB/Hiv care and DUT College for helping me to stop smoking heroin. Being helped at the center made me listen to what I was told to do and do it, sometimes. But today I have some hope in my life.
And Now I can throw away all my drugs. Thank you everyone for listening to my story. NJABULO: WRITER.
Interviewing with Nkosinathi Shozi
My name is Njabulo Gumede from cator manor, Here I m interviewing with Nkosinathi Shozi he from Lamontville and he is addict.i designate him because he is very humble person in other guys or person.
He said he was hustling to get food and he had no parents no shelter and he was sleeping out side on the road, then he met with bad friends they were busy smoking heroin, and he said his friends said try it wont kill you, then he also smoked at the end.
The following days he started to stealing from people close to him like those friends they were not smoking and grabing other, He was also young and they coat him as he was younger then he went to prison so still stressed made him smoke more because he had no visitors or someone in prison, When he got out in prison ,he carried on with smoking up until he met someone to tell him about the T.B and H.I.V care centre in UMBILO Widley Road ,When he heard about the centre he decided to stopping smoke heroin