South Africa

Community councillors on a mission to get more addicts off the streets

Mams15Serma 51103 e1674807545234

A Mamelodi woman left behind a life of shoplifting and theft to help drug addicts go clean.

Ex-convict and now community councillor, Dineo Kgotsi (42) from Mamelodi East, rescued nyaope addict Peter Mamahlodi and removed him from the streets.

Today, the two are community councillors are working together.

Kgotsi believes that when one puts one’s mind to a task, nothing is impossible.

She said she could not do this alone. Thus, with the help of Grey Serma they convinced Mamahlodi to quit drugs and start a new life.

“I was arrested a couple of years ago.”

Kgotsi was a known thief and many people, including her family, had given up on her.

“I wanted to do something different with my life,” said Kgotsi.

“I had to believe that I could change although nobody did and it had motivated me to try and give as many people a chance,” she said.

She said when she heard that a nyaope addict wanted to quit, she went out and searched for him.

“A lot of people tried to discourage me, including Peter’s family who once told me that I was wasting my time with their son who was already deep into drugs.

“But life had taught me a valuable lesson and I was able to change my life. Therefore, I could not leave Peter to continue ruining his life.

“I am proud to announce Peter Mamahlodi decided to quit and joined me and Grey Serma to become drug councillors at Thandanani Care centre in Mamelodi,” Kgotsi said.

“We have so far helped a lot of drug addicts and help others to get into rehabilitation to quit taking drugs and reunited them with their loved ones,” she said.

Mamahlodi told Rekord that he was tired of life when Kgotsi reached out to him.

He said drugs destroyed his life and his family had lost faith in him to the point where he was chased away.

“I sold my identity book, sold a car my father gave me and ended up living under a bridge.”

He said to feed his craving for drugs, he started selling scrap metal.

He added that he would even sell groceries when there was nothing left to sell.

“I lived on the street for years, I was a walking zombie,” he said.

He said because of Kgotsi, he is now a respected member of the community and his parents welcomed him back home with open arms.

He described himself as an anti-drug abuse ambassador and he gets referrals from parents who have children taking drugs. They also talked to learners about addictions and other risky behaviour.

“There are many ways that can lead one to get into drugs and substance abuse. Peer pressure, a fancy lifestyle, cigarettes and hubby bubbly,” said Mamahlodi.

“Parents come to me to get me to speak to their children about drugs.

“I will forever be grateful to Dineo and Grey, I’m living this life because of them,” he concluded.

Do you have more information about the story?

Please send us an email to [email protected] or phone us on 083 625 4114.

For free breaking and community news, visit Rekord’s websites: Rekord East

For more news and interesting articles, like Rekord on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Instagram