Cape Town - Isibaya actor Muzi Mthabela (41) has had enough of alcohol.
He took a decision to quit three years ago, after several attempts to quit. He reveals that the reasons behind this decision is to honour God, his wife and children, and be a better man.
UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Muzi used to drink alcohol and his first sip was when he was just a boy in a township called Clermont in KwaZulu Natal. "It was a 'cool' thing to do at the time. My friends and I started with ciders and later graduated to 'gologo' (spirits),” he tells Move!
Even though he was raised by strict parents, who never approved of his new-found habits, it was something that had become popular among his friends. In 2010, when he heard about Molemo 'Jub-Jub' Maarohanye’s tragic accident in Soweto, where Jub-Jub and Themba Tshabalala were drag-racing and ploughed into a group of schoolchildren on Mdlalose Drive in Protea North on 8 March, 2010, after taking a cocktail of drugs and alcohol.
That accident left several children dead and others with disabilities and injuries. "I remember thinking, this could have been me because at the time, I would drink and drive. The truth is, under the influence, your judgement becomes impaired. I made a lot of mistakes under the influence," says Muzi.
WINDS OF CHANGE
As he grew older, without the influence of friends, Muzi was able to introspect and ask himself tough questions about the effects of alcohol in his life. "I would quit for a few months and go back. Every time I took a drink, I felt guilty," he says.
When he got married and had children, he says the voice inside, that had always been telling him to quit, become too loud to ignore. "Having my family made me reflect deeper. I made adjustments to my life because I could no longer be selfish, I had a family to take care of and children who look up to me.
Giving my life to Christ has been the best thing for me," Muzi says. Not only does he feel he is exemplary to his children, but he says there are many other young people who look up to him.
"I give motivational talks in schools, I tell the pupils not to even taste alcohol or drugs because you might be hooked on your first try," Muzi says.
"It is the case with many of the peers I grew up with. I believe that this is a conversation worth having."
Not only has his personal growth evolved over the years but he says his acting career continues to rise to greater heights. After many years of being behind the scenes as an editor for shows such as Zola 7, Zone 14, Jacob’s Cross, City Ses’la, Skwizas and Gaz’lam, he has found a deeper love for acting in recent years.
"There are things God won’t do in your life if you are still stuck on old ways. I believe that making a decision to not be casual about my Christianity and to take my salvation seriously has been good for me," he says.