Rorisang Kgosana
Premium Journalist
8 minute read
22 Jul 2020
4:05 pm

The nyaope isn’t worth it, but they have little else

Rorisang Kgosana

Recovering nyaope addicts in Pretoria ride the Covid-19 emotional rollercoaster, and we discover how boredom, shame, and the supposed need for female attention means many might possibly return to their lives of drug use and, in some cases crime.

Kleinboy Aphane shows some of the scars he has from long term drug use at the Lyttleton Sport Grounds homeless shelter where he has been staying since the beginning of the nationwide lockdown, 21 July 2020, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

A group of Pretoria’s homeless nyaope-users seem to have lost their determination and, despite receiving medication at a shelter in Centurion to wean them off the addiction, some have chosen to return to the drug. For the past four months, the Lyttelton Sports Ground has been used to house a number of homeless drug users. Since the commencement of the lockdown in March, meals have been served three times a day, along with regular doses of methadone - medication used to relieve severe pain and prevent withdrawal symptoms in those addicted to opiates. But the road to sobriety has taken...