Can you imagine a person smoking a substance mixed with a rat poison? You don’t have to imagine it, there are people who are doing it. The substance is known as nyaope. Nyaope is a mix of antiretroviral drugs and Rattex, a poison that kills rats. It causes a lot of damage to the human system.
According to the Kagiso Police station commander, Sipho Ngubane, it is difficult for nyaope addicts to kick the habit. It is also hard for them to be rehabilitated, said Ngubane. Apparently it takes time to get the drug out of the system.
Having said that, radio personality Maryjane Scheepers has embarked in a campaign to save the youth of Kagiso from nyaope. The campaign has been endorsed by the Mogale City Executive Mayor, Patrick Naga Lipudi, and community developer-cum-businesswoman, Johanna Mogale.
On the last Friday of December 2017, Scheepers took the campaign, “phantsi nge nyaope”, to the Sonap Garage, a popular spot in Kagiso. This is where the addicts of this substance kill time and smoke the drug. The turnout was good. Executive Mayor Lipudi was also in attendance.
Scheepers’ aim was to save 40 nyaope addicts in one day. That was very ambitious of her and she did not meet her target, as expected. However, you cannot blame her for trying. Her initiative is noble and selfless.
The challenge with nyaope is that it is cheap and easily accessible. As a result, the number of victims of this substance is growing. The concern is that this drug is killing the hopes and dreams of our young guns, the future leaders of this country.
Will Scheepers realise her dream of saving the youth from this evil? It doesn’t look like she has enough resources to fight this scourge. She needs to rope in other stakeholders: i.e. the police, Health Department and rehabilitation centres. But most of all, she needs the backing of the community.