“I have almost no hope left. My grandchild is terrorising the whole family. We cannot leave our doors or cupboards unlocked because when we return something will be missing because of this plague called Nyaope,” said eighty-six-year-old Stokie Jacobeth Ntlatleng.

This came after the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) adopted the Ntletleng and the Mokotsi families from Ga-Rankuwa as part of a ‘Down with Nyaope’ campaign in the community. The NYDA will be working with the families and local authorities to aid in the recovery of their family members through rehabilitation and skills programmes.

The sons, Keabetswe Ntlatleng, 26 and Jerry Mokotsi, 25 are recovering Nyaope addicts who work at a local car wash as a means to their escape addiction. The NYDA learnt about the plight of the two families from Aga Sechaba Community Projects, a community based NPO.

“Young people must lead the war against drugs which is ravaging our homes, families and communities. We are trying a new tactic to combat drug abuse in Ga-Rankuwa through working with families, recovering addicts and local authorities but collectively we must take a zero tolerance approach to drug dealers,” said NYDA Executive Chairperson, Yershen Pillay.

Keabetswe said that a fix of Nyaope costs him R108 per day while he only makes R15 for every that car he washes.

“Initially I started smoking Nyaope because I enjoyed the feeling of being high but now I have days where I feel like I can’t continue without this drug. I am trying my best to stay clean, I hope and pray for strength because my dream is to one day start my own carwash with my friend Jerry as my partner,” said Keabetswe.

The NYDA plans to support the rehabilitation journey that Jerry and Keanbetswe have begun whilst motivating them through business development training and support.

“Our long term goal to fund a car wash for Jerry and Keabetswe to run as their own but before this can happen we need to make sure that they are clean. We will be working closely with their families to support their rehabilitation whilst exposing them to a range of skills development programmes. We have also embarked on an intense drug awareness campaign in the community ahead of the festive season. Our message to youth is to abstain and remain vigilant of the dangers of substance abuse and choose a brighter future going into 2016,” said Pillay.

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