South Africa- The accompanying photo above shows a typical scene of our vulnerable youth which is seen at any corner of any township, shopping centre or rural villages of the country. All as busy as a bees sniffing what is called ‘nyaope or wunga which is an illegal drug found in black communities of the country, whereby according to this youth such drug makes them forget their blues.

By J.T. Jiyane

These are tomorrow’s people who are supposed to be discussing a future of the South, but instead they are in jail with their own sorrows because for them it seems there is no future for tomorrow. However, there are those who hate seeing themselves like this, but there seems to be no solution to their addiction because the drug is overpowering their thoughts.

Not even mentioning the hangover they experience the next day, they can sell anything from small light items like a watch, cellphone to bigger heavier items like a door frame, or TV set just to be able to pollute the mind. In that hangover process the body is itching, as they scrub it now and then more over they must eat light meals like snacks because of the situation in the stomach conditioned caused by this dangerous and poisonous drug.

Yet, these are future leaders of the country swimming deep in the pool of the drug which emerged somewhere in the year 2000 from Pretoria townships such as Soshanguve, Atteridgeville and Mamelodi to mention three, from there it gained momentum and spread to other provinces of the country.

Inyaope or wunga consists of dagga and heroin, including other substances like rat poison-powder milk or antiretroviral (drug for Hiv and Aids treatment) though there is a strong dispute by South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence regarding any rat poison (toxic) for humans.

The estimation is that an average addict will use about 5 packets per day which could be more than R150. Although some may use about 10 packets a day, while each packet is between R20 to R30. But above all, the drug has been an declared illegal substance. The moment when they become addicted is the moment they become wild.

We traced one of their hot spots at KwaMhlanga Cross Roads (shopping centre) on the road between Pretoria Bus Stop and Vaalbank in Mpumalanga Province for 2 days in consecutively. There were those who were basking in the sun busy sniffing, meanwhile some were going up and down looking for hard cash to buy a packet. In that instance between 9h00 and 10h00 there was a police van moving around, suddenly one young man approached them from a distance and we realised that he was submitting sort of a parcel because it was tangible. The next day it was the same action, but this time it was slightly different, it was about 11h00, the same young man but different police and the vehicle written with KwaMhlanga Police Station all over it.

On the other side of Moloto Road next to Taxi Rank and Total Garage at the very same KwaMhlanga Plaza, this time 2 gangs were fighting over nyaope that there are those who smoke too much and do not want to buy another round. We managed to get one young man who is a university dropout, who did not want to reveal his name as most people are not aware that he smokes a pipe and the zol.

In his own words he said ‘Uncle this drug is like a reggae mylitis please help me! Every day I can feel it in my bones,.in my blood, in my toes going up to my brain, in my toes and in my ankle up to my shoulders. Uncle sometimes my temperature gets higher because this drug is dangerous once you are in you do not come out,’ said this victim whose eyes were rolling in tears.

J.T. Jiyane is a PRESSENZA correspondent based in South Africa