Jani just turned 43, she has 5 children and is the sole bread winner for her family. Each day she goes to homes to clean in order to make enough money to feed her children and to put them through school. Her eldest, Ami, was just 21 when a friend of hers uttered the words “Come on just one hit, feel what I feel, it will take all your worries away”. She took the hit and her life will never be the same again.
She is now 24 married with a child but her story is far more dark than the surface belays. Tik is the drug of choice in Cape Town and is gaining popularity country wide. Made from a mix of over the counter drugs including normal sinus medication it is cheap and therefore more accessible to the general public, especially the poorer communities.
It grabs you and holds you captive much like Heroin, first hit and you are hooked, it brings you heaven and then hell. It sucks your body dry and at the same time alters your personality so much that you lose hold of love or hope, emotions don’t exist further than your next hit.
It took a weekend filled with Tik, rape, gang rape and more drugs for Ami to eventually crawl home to her more than distraught family and plead with them to help her. She said she would go clean but knew she couldn’t do it alone, the pull was too strong, so she got her parents to book her into a facility. Her parents took her in their arms and carried her to the rehab which cost R250. 3 days work for her mother, 3 days of food away from the other kids but they did it because they loved their daughter as if their own lives depended on it. The family all started pulling together to the point that even the young ones tried to do extra odd jobs to bring in more money to help Ami.
Eventually after a lot of trauma Ami was released, she was stronger, brighter and she was clean. Soon other families heard of her healing and sought her out to speak to their children, friends of friends spoke with her and heard her story. Her story is unknown to many but it needs to be told for it holds so much hope, so much truth of the reality in Tik use and what it does not only to the user but the very people they love.
Her story needs to be told along with all other Tik survivors, the story must get out in order for it to help more people. Families who have been touched by Tik both in the present and past need to hear it. Users both present and past need to hear the story so that they can see that it is possible to come through the other side and breathe, that they do have a choice and that they can do it.
I spoke to Jani today and I told her this, I told her that her daughter is an inspiration, that she and her family are inspirations. I then told her that there are so many out there with similar stories, if we could find them and get them to write down their stories perhaps they could save more lives. So we agreed again. She is now going to speak to the other families and the ex users and ask them if they would like to write about their experiences. The ex users about their experiences, how they got started, what happened during using and how they got clean. Their families about what it did to them, how they handled it, what they would’ve done differently and how it felt to have their family member back home.
This book will start out just being about Tik but I feel that it can also move into all drugs, stories of surviving and coming clean, experiences and the truth.
Ultimately about the truth, the whole truth and not the gloss.
I now open it up to you. If you have ever used Tik or any other drug, know of someone who might want to contribute, if you are a family member or friend of someone that is currently or has used in the past we would like to hear from you. If you are interested, want more information or would like to contribute your story you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond respectively.
With your help perhaps we can make a dent in this epidemic…
There is no going back
Anti Tik Campaign Short Advert
Unreported World: Lost Generation Pt 1 of 3
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