Mental illness is often accompanied by stigma, complicated by fear and mystified by misinformation. Stress, loss, financial problems etc – all these issues are an inevitable part of life. I, for one, have previously suffered from severe depression which resulted in an intense DRUG addiction for almost a decade. But 4 years ago and through a series of persistent family intervention efforts and professional help, I eventually managed to overcome the addiction and was equipped with tools to manage the depression going forward.

And as much as these are serious, life-threatening issues, laughing about them can be an effective way of reducing tension, eliminating stigmas and may lead to a path of ultimately finding healing. There is no better way to deal with a problem than to laugh about it. The reality is that these issues will not be miraculously resolved simply by making serious faces and folding our arms. The Big question is ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT?’

I often and extensively use FACEBOOK to drive the DRUG addiction recovery narrative and also to provide guidance and support in any possible way to those who are still trapped in its treacherous grip and those who are indirectly impacted. I also visit DRUG rehabilitation facilities to share my story with those with a desperate desire to recover. But in light of all of this, now again I would share jokes about my previous DRUG encounters and experiences and what I’ve discovered and as I probe further, is that the first people to take offence(by me joking about my own personal experiences mind you) are the so-called woke, keyboard activist who are quick to reprimand and take what’s been said out of context, simply to draw attention to themselves. And when asked what have they done to eradicate and resolve these issues, they remain mute.

I understand how one may interpret the joke as inappropriate, especially if it is something they are currently going through or previously experienced. But it is also not fair to always want to ask people to tiptoe around you simply because you’ve been through a terrible ordeal in life. It is not healthy for anyone to always want to censor and edit other people’s social media posts and control their conduct.

And also, laughter is not intended to be an offensive or insensitive way to dilute the significance and seriousness of these issues, because even tragedy has a funny side.

Anisiyekeni sizihlekele tuu.


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

About Rewo Banele

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.

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