PALEDI Malete from Mamelodi in Tshwane is tired of being a nyaope addict.

The 26-year-old moved from Mpumalanga to Tshwane three years ago, hoping for a better life.


Little did he know he would get hooked on drugs.

He said he moved in with his older brother, who worked as a builder.

“For months I struggled to find a job. I submitted CVs to many companies. Then my brother told me the contractor he worked for needed someone to mix cement and sand. So I took the position.”

paledi-malete“It was hard work but I had to be strong because I didn’t want to go back home.

“Some of the workers told me to smoke dagga to become stronger and it worked. I could work longer without getting tired.One day after work, his older brother shared a zol with him.

“But he didn’t tell me there was nyaope in it. Before I knew it, I was addicted.”Paledi soon stopped going to work.“I no longer cared about my future. I used all the money I made to feed my addiction.

“Earlier this year, my brother was arrested for stealing. I knew I had to start supporting myself.

“So I decided to start collecting recyclable material to sell at the local scrapyard.“I don’t steal because I don’t want a criminal record. I believe I can still change my future.

“I still want to go to university and become a mechanical engineer. But I am too embarrassed to visit my parents because of the way my life turned out.”

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