Former drug addict gives back

2018-07-11 06:02
Sbongumusa Shoti Zuma who has started an organisation to help the youth.PHOTO: supplied

Sbongumusa Shoti Zuma who has started an organisation to help the youth.PHOTO: supplied

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“DON’T use your background as an excuse to ruin your future.”

This is the advice from Sbongumusa Shoti Zuma from Dambuza who has since opened a non-profit organisation called Dambuza Youth in Action to help the youth in the area fight social ills, especially drugs.

Zuma, who is an ex-drug addict, told Echo that after he decided to quit drugs and start his life over he wanted to do something to help his community. He said the big challenge that the youth of Dambuza face is drug abuse.

“Our youth have lost hope. They have turned to drugs and alcohol. I want to help them and bring back hope because I know their problem. I have been in their situation before. This organisation is going to help obtain an opportunity to talk about their challenges and problems. Our youth do not have any activities or programmes that they can be involved in in the community so they use their spare time to do wrong. This organisation is going to give them programmes that are going to keep them busy. They will always have something to do in helping the community.

“The youth of Dambuza are neglected, no one cares about them. We have a lot of youth who have talent in our area but they do not know where to use it. I grew up in this area, I know how difficult it is to grow up in an area where no one cares about you and you do not even have someone to look up to. Everyone only cares about themselves in this area,” he said.

Zuma said when he was growing up no one told him that he has a talent of playing soccer. He said he knew that he can play soccer but no one inspired or encouraged him.

“I decided to stop playing soccer because I saw it as a waste of time and I started smoking dagga while I was doing Grade 6. When I got to high school I started sniffing cocaine and other dangerous drugs. No one told me to do drugs but because it was something that most of the youth in the area did, we all decided to do it.

“When I decided to quit smoking when I was in Grade 11, it was not easy. People need to know that it is a long process and you need to commit yourself. I made choices that almost ruined my whole life. I do not want that to happen to other people.

“This is like a second chance to me and I want to use it by giving back to my own community.

“I want to help our young generation to see the light and know that doing drugs is going to ruin their bright future.” To get involved you can contact 079 342 8026.

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