In an effort to encourage drug users to kick the habit, social media activist and founder of Clean Up Hub, Reikhutsitse Malala, recently celebrated his birthday by cutting three cakes for more than 100 service users at Mabopane Station.
Malala annually celebrates his birthday with the intention of gaining access to users so that he can give them information about available options for rehab.
He was joined by former world boxing champion, Ditau Molefyane and Kgatso Funerals on the day.
His goal is to every year they go there to speak to the users and show them love and appreciation.
He went on to say this years’s celebration had a high turn out from users compared to all other years. However, he said he was concerned about the increasing numbers of users who reside at Mabopane Station.
“I am happy that they turned out in their numbers to wish me happy birthday but I am also sad that there’s so many of them who are here and many more others have been recruited into drugs.
“To me it wasn’t a celebration but an eye opening experience that says to me we need to do more to help them,” he said.
Molefyane, who was also born this month, said he wants to also meaningfully contribute to the society.
The retired boxer said him and Malala will be embarking on a similar celebration in his home town of Tembisa soon. “There’s also a surge of Nyaope in Tembisa; so I want us to take the same programme to Tembisa so that we can encourage the kids to quit. I think with both of us, with him being the activist and me a former champion, we can give them hope,” he said.
CEO of Kgatso Funerals, Tshepo Tshabalala, said that as an organisation that deals with the business of taking people to their final resting place, they are also worried about the alarming amount of people who die through the usage of nyaope, and want to partake in the event to also support the fight against drug abuse and drug deaths.
He said they have noted with great concern how users are now contracting HIV through needles exchange, and has called on the government and all concern stake holders to help clean up the street. “I think we can help them, we just need more resources and all other concern parties to join us in taking these kids to rehab, its possible and its for free, I don’t see why we can sit back and watch them decay,” he said.