Award winning kwaito star, actor and author, Kabelo Mabalane of TKZee fame, is shedding light on substance and drug abuse with a new television show.
Mabalane shot to fame in 1996 when his music group, TKZee released their their debut album.
Although the group have not released new music since 2009, they have been performing at various events recently, including the Idols SA finale last week.
“When the three of us get together it’s always a good time, we really do have fun. I mean we all went to school together, we have been friends for ages and we love performing together,” he said.
Mabalane, with his former bandmates, are also in the process of putting together a biopic of their group.
“We are working on a project, a TKZee biopic, that’s something I am very excited about. While we do that we will also be performing again at different events around the country and we do have a plan to make new music as a group.
“However, we want that to happen as organically as performing again happened. We just performed earlier this year at someone’s party and we kept at it after that, it just happened, so new music must also just happen,” he said.
About his new show, Kick It, he said saying yes was a no-brainer.
“The Gauteng Department of Social Development saw that we are in big trouble, not only in Gauteng but in the entire country.
"Drug addiction and substance abuse is a huge problem in our country and the idea for this show came about to shed light on how big of an issue we are dealing with and to show the effects of substance abuse and how it affects all of us,” he said.
Mabalane said when he was approached to host the show, he did not hesitate: “I understand what addiction is first hand, because I was addicted to drugs. I know the pain it causes and I know how hearing other people’s stories can change your own. For me it’s about sharing my story of hope.”
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He also said that although doing a show like this was not difficult, it was not easy either.
“I have been clean for 16 years now, so I am at a place where I have slayed my demons. I have practised my principles for staying clean for years now.
“Of course it was not easy at first, but I resisted all temptation. So I am going into these environments from a position of strength. That does not mean that the stories I hear don’t affect me,” he said.
Mabalane has been honest about his drug addiction, which started with alcohol and marijuana and then cocaine. His addiction was so bad he once went on a binge, snorting cocaine for four days. The binge saw him being rushed to hospital by his friends and his life was saved.
“I think that because I have been so open about my story, it has made the people we look at on this show more open to engage with me, they are very receptive. I also know what they are talking about, so even when they tell me it’s hard to stop, I sometimes scold them because I know it can be done,” he said.
“There is stigma attached to drug addiction. We want to sweep it under the carpet and not face the reality of the issue. If we start talking about it and educating each other, then we can start fixing it.”
Kick It airs on SABC 2 every Friday at 8.30pm.