Sesy’s story -Nyaope girl

A former nyaope girl and mother of one, Sesy Nomali Masango (21), told her story to the Middelburg Observer about the horror of being a female nyaope addict.

Nyaope, also known as whoonga, is a very addictive, dangerous and destructive street-drug.

Sesy Masango started taking the lethal nyaope drug in late 2012 at the age of 18 and could not complete her studies.

“I remember my first pull on that Saturday with a friend over a few drinks,” said Sesy. She also remembers how good it felt, “better than alcohol, the feeling of being in control of the world.”

She got “hooked” on the first pull.

The satisfaction only lasted a few minutes and already she wanted more in her body, having a few rands on her, she bought a fix and went on using it all night.

She describes herself as an experimental person and that is exactly what got her addicted, she had no challenges in life which she could blame for the addiction.

Her life after that one pull changed forever because all she cared about was feeding the addiction and nothing else. The drug was easily available as she bought it from a dealer in her street, who was surprised by her frequent visits.

“The nyaope powder comes in two colours: white and brown at R 40.00,” said Sesy. The most dangerous, the brown.

“We then mix the powder with cannabis and cigarettes, when inhaling one must keep it in, in order to get the actual feeling,” said Sesy while demonstrating with her hands.

Little did she know that she was going to be a slave to the powder, she wanted nothing but the feeling of being intoxicated by the drug. She lost interest in everything else, neglected her daughter, family and chores.

She would just wake up in the morning to go look for money for a fix.

She started stealing as a result, at home, car break ins, shops in town and even house robberies. She would steal money from tills, clothes or any item that could be sold fast for cash.

Her family noticed her addiction due to the physical changes that nyaope addicts undergo: weight loss (She went from a size 38 to 28), sudden dark pigmentation of skin, not eating and taking less care of themselves.

Her family was devastated, especially because she had a child, but they however continued to support her to stop using the drug.

“I always told myself that I will quit this drug especially because of my daughter,” said Sesy

With her family they started doing research on methods to deal with her addiction, they got help at the South African National Council on Alcoholism (SANCA).

She then got a doctor’s prescription and that is when the painful road to healing started.

“Withdrawal symptoms are worse than labour pains, trust me I know,” said Sesy.

She could not sleep for four days, sweating, having stomach cramps, throwing up, a runny stomach and paralyzed by the lack of nyaope in her body. She was admitted to hospital for two weeks which ended her misery and she got proper treatment under supervision which helped her a lot.

“I will never go back,” said Sesy with teary eyes.

Sesy also said that it’s really tough, especially for women smoking nyaope, as some are forced into prostitution to survive. HIV/AIDS is spread very fast, due to being intoxicated protection is not considered.

She says her life is back to normal now, she is not a zombie anymore. She wants to pursue a career in Social Work or Journalism.

Above all she wants to use this story to tell others in the same situation that there is hope and methods to combat this wicked addiction, basically a way out.

She is currently, with the help of SANCA, speaking to young people who are going through the same misery and she wants to do even more.

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