DRAG: Gugulethu GK Khoza (pic by Vice Madlokovu Nene)

 

I was introduced to drugs on a random day by a trusted friend I never knew was on drugs until the day he pulled out some white powder and a bank card.

It’s 2001, I’m about to turn 19 and I still haven’t figured out how I was gonna turn my dream of being a millionaire into reality. Lucky for me, I was offered an opportunity by my folks to further my studies. And since I had a dream of becoming a Rapper and a millionaire before I turned 21, I thought studying towards a Radio and Video broadcasting diploma would be a perfect catalyst for me to forge a career in the music industry. So I decided to enrol at Boston Media House where I met Lebogang Masiane, Xolani Sibiya, Lerato Lekoaletsoe and Ntokozo F. Tshabalala. I now had an afro, regularly rocked some bizarre-looking earrings I bought at House Of Hemp and had a piercing below my lower lip. I replaced my expensive Kurt Geiger pants with quirky bell bottoms and my eye-catching Carvelas with outlandish Buffalo platform shoes. And because I was more concerned about fashion than I was with my studies, I flunked and dropped out.

KEEPING FRIENDS CLOSE…

By 2003, I was convinced that it was the year where my dream of becoming a millionaire would materialise. I had a lot going on for me that year. And by that I mean, I was now a regular weed smoker, had some dope verses written in my rhyme book and was dating 2 yellow bones at the same time. I was a lost boy(no pun intended), but at the time I thought I had finally discovered my purpose. It felt great and what made it even greater was when Zwelkid Ngwenya, Thabo Blaze Mokandabile and myself started hosting a Hip Hop event called Kasimental on a weekly basis at a local park. Those were the best days of my life. The handshakes from the fellas and the hugs from the ladies after every performance felt like it was a sign that my dream would soon be realised. Our show took off and it became really popular. We provided a platform for some of the best Hip Hop artists. Some even went on to forge some serious careers in the industry. I’m taking the likes of Teargas, Prokid, Djkenzhero to name a few. We had ample opportunities to turn our hobby to a career, but we just did not capitalise on the opportunities we had, so none of our plans ever materialised.

At this point, Zwelkid and Thabo had stable jobs. And each time we got together we’d exchange ideas on how to take things to the next level but none of them was actioned. Except for one idea. We managed to record, package and independently released a project called the ScRAPbook EP. This was in 2009 and that project would not have been possible without Wax Ngcobo, Ravenik Haven, Mpho Madi, Ntando Marumo, Thantaswa Matshobongwana, Mbazzo Lamagenge, L-Slice, PK and Gwaza Juice. I’ve never formally thanked any of you guys, so I would like to say Thank You.

But either than that project, no other idea ever came to life. By 2010 I was intensely frustrated. The realisation that I might not become a millionaire, after all, was becoming more of a fact. Older, broke and no work experience. I didn’t notice it then, but I became gravely depressed. I smoked more weed and drank more liquor than I previously did. My life was a mess. But fortunately, my situation changed mid-year when I got my first official job through my brother Zwelkid. Everything seemed okay and I was getting by just fine, until late 2011 when I had my first encounter with DRUGS. It was a beginning of a long, miserable journey but I didn’t know it at that time. I was introduced to DRUGS by a former friend whose name I rather not mention.

We were hanging out one Thursday evening, having drinks at his friend’s house, when he suddenly pulled out a small plastic bag from this pocket filled with a white powdery substance. The other guy stood up and walked to the kitchen. He grabbed a plate, heated it up on the stove, took 2 bank cards and a cut straw on top of the fridge, walked back to the living room, snatched the small plastic bag from my friend’s hand, opened it and poured the powdery substance on the plate. He then took one of the cards and used it to crush the powder until it was really fine, all the while using the other card to scrape off the residue from the card he just crushed the powder with. There was complete silence at this point and I began to realise that the powder that just got passionately crushed was DRUGS.

…AND DRUGS CLOSER

I was quite astonished but also intrigued by what was happening before my eyes. So after separating the powder into lines, he then took the tiny straw with his right hand, grabbed the plate with the other hand, brought it closer to his nose and viciously snorted the white fine line of powder into his nostril. He became teary-eyed and I could tell that he was feeling some pain judging from the expression on his face. But that expression swiftly changed into a look of ecstatic pleasure. He handed over the plate to my friend, who also snorted a line and had a similar look on his face. It was a scary sight to watch. Here is a friend whom I had known my entire life casually and unapologetically sniffing DRUGS as if it was nothing.

Previously, I had suspected that he could be on DRUGS. His behaviour had become somewhat odd and I suppose when he randomly pulled out that small plastic bag from this pocket, it was his way for him to reveal his long-kept secret. It was his way to liberate himself. The irony of that revelation though is that from that day I became a slave to DRUGS. I had no idea that I was about to lose my freedom that evening when my friend unexpectedly passed on the plate to me. I should have questioned his motives. I should have refused. I should have walked away. I should have……….. Yes, I probably should have done something.

But strangely, what I did next gave me such an intense euphoric rush and an extraordinarily pleasurable feeling that made it feel like it was something I should have done a long time ago. A feeling of heightened alertness and energy took over me. I felt supremely confident and had ideas flowing uncontrollably in my head. I felt so alive and everything around me seemed perfect. It was a kind of feeling Bradley Cooper felt in the movie Limitless when he took NZT for the first time. Later that evening, I snorted more lines.  The entire weekend I was on cloud nine. I was hooked but I didn’t know it yet. I could not wait to meet up with the guys again the following weekend.

As I became a regular user the euphoric feeling I initially experienced lessened, increasing my insatiable appetite for the substance. The monkey on my back grew bigger and instead of chasing my dream of becoming a millionaire, I started chasing the HIGH and the more I attempted to quench my thirst the thirstier I became.  A full-blown DRUG addict is what I had become. I skipped work regularly and I got fired eventually. I got another job and I got fired again. This is how I lived for the next 4 years.

None of my close friends knew I was on DRUGS( Well, at least I thought so). Besides losing a bit of weight, I still appeared as my usual self(in my head at least). It was now 2015, I was jobless, broke, single and more depressed than I’ve ever been in my entire life. And because I could no longer afford Cat and Cocaine which were my DRUGS of choice, I started using Crystal Meth, which is far more addictive than both cat and coke combined, has long term health consequences and is cheaper. This is a point in my life when I started to dance with the devil. No, let me rephrase that statement. This is a point when I became a Devil. I loved meth because it made me happier, more energetic and the HIGH lasted longer. It was a perfect escape from my problems. It gave me an illusion of being more powerful and productive than I actually was. I went for days without sleep and lost contact with everyone in my life. The only “friends” I had were other meth users. I sold all my possessions and when I ran out of stuff to sell, I’d manipulate and steal from friends and family. And If I wasn’t manipulating or stealing from anyone, I was fantasizing about it.

Over time, meth got in the way of me taking proper care of myself. I didn’t care about anything or anyone but meth and I was okay with that. I dreaded the come down though, that awful feeling you get when the DRUG is wearing off. And to avoid effects from the comedown, I started using Mandrax simultaneously with meth to offset the comedown. I hallucinated regularly and suffered extreme weight loss. Somewhere at the back of my head, I knew I was in a terrible shape but that’s the thing about meth, you just don’t care.

I was arrested on the 4th of October 2017, not far from my dealer’s house, shortly after buying 3 bags of meth. Luckily, I was released on free bail 2 days later. Days before my arrest, I had a lot of stolen money on me and threw random meth parties in various meth houses. So after my release from jail, I visited every one of those houses with hopes that I’d get some meth but unsurprisingly, none of the meth heads I fed days earlier was willing to share their stash with me. But that’s just how things work in the meth world, no loyalty. So after spending the entire day looking for meth without any success, I eventually settled on one of the houses and because it was already late, I decided to have a sleepover. Some dude felt sorry for me and offered me a single pull from his meth pipe. That night I went to sleep angry for having allowed myself to reach such a low point in my life.

Gugulethu ‘GK’ Khoza is recovering addict who has turned his life around and will regularly share his experiences to inspire and help young men https://poll.fm/10907314recover from addiction. More of his stories to follow.

 

About Rewo Banele

administrator
Before we can educate the youth about business, we need to confront the challenges that are constantly destroying the youth before they even begin looking towards trying entrepreneurship. I was once a young man who needed someone to show me the potential I possessed as a young man growing up in the township. Today I am an Entrepreneur, Author and Executive Producer with a passion to educate young people in the township about their potential and challenges through entrepreneurial and substance abuse content. This is why I have dedicated part of this website to address issues of substance abuse and crime. Only after addressing these can we have hope to inspire young people into entrepreneurship.

7 thoughts on “Any Day Could Be Your First: How I Was Introduced To Drugs.

  1. Continued….I woke up early the next morning and because I had nowhere else to go, I decided to go back home. I remember that morning so vividly. It was a long walk home and it gave me some time to think. Something inside of me made realise that if I don’t change my ways, I was either going to end up in prison or I was gonna die. I chose my life that day and made a promise to myself that I would never use a DRUG again as long as I live. A promise I’ve since kept. I surrendered to the DRUG and accepted defeat. The next step was to embark on a journey of recovery. So on the 25th of October 2017, I was admitted at a treatment center where I completed a 2 months rehabilitation programme. This is when I started regaining control of my life. And through therapy I began to understand what addiction really is and what the cause of my addiction was. I was taught about triggers and how to identify them. I was equipped with tools on how to better cope with stress and to manage addiction. I found a new way of life that has enabled me to rebuild a relationship with my family, to make amends with those that were harmed by my addiction and to build new relationships with people who support sobriety. I also decided to stop drinking alcohol and stop smoking cigarettes because I understood that once an addict becomes hooked on one substance, they’re more susceptible to being addicted to something else. So if you too are struggling with addiction or know someone who is, I just wanna let you know that recovery is possible. I did it, so you too can do it. The first step is to acknowledge that you have a problem and seek professional help. Oh and about my dream of becoming a millionaire? Well, I no longer let money determine my self worth. My dream these days is to help others realise their dreams. And If I can achieve that, I would have lived a complete and fulfilling life. But for now, I just wanna stay sober and I intend on doing that one day at a time.

  2. Well Done Brother 🤝🏾🤝🏾🤝🏾So proud of you!! I wish my brother can see this, but unfortunately he’s not even on social media. He’s struggling with alcoholism

  3. Thanks GK ur Testimony is truely amazing wish more youth can read this. God bless you and may you continue to help others

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