By Kagiso Modikoe

The problem of alcohol and drugs in Kwa-thema is caused by different problems. So I went out to find out from people who used the drugs and those who abuse alcohol. I went to a street called Mabaso Street, where the youth spends a lot of time. I spoke to Manwabisi Ndladla who is 22 years old. He told me why he is smoking drugs, he started after he failed grade 12. Most of his friend did well which really disturbed him because he knew that it was going to be difficult for him to get work or continue with his studies. He was also living with his grandmother and there was no money for him repeat grade 12. He made friends with the guys who do nothing but smoke. He used to smoke cigarette. Manwabisi started with dagga and he was introduced to Nyaope, which makes him feel peace and quietness in the world and now he is stealing to able to buy it.

Sandi Mabena he said he does not have problem he is just enjoying it and nobody can tell him anything, if people don’t have money to buy it they must not feel bad. When I spoke to Sipho about alcohol, he said you cannot enjoy without alcohol finish. The youth indicated to me that money is not a problem as they sell lot of scrap metal they pick it up on the streets and in waste areas.

The third guy I interviewed was Bongani, who does not smoke or drink and he indicated that he is lucky that he was brought up by his both parents and he was always under parents strict rule and now he has passed grade 12 and is in college, “I don’t laugh at them. I feel sorry for them but they must do something to help themselves.” He said.

The problem of drugs and alcohol can be solved by knowing the cause of the problem. The Government must be able to create more jobs for the youth because most guys who smoke drugs are the ones who don’t have employment.