Addiction dehumanised me
Bhekinkosi turned into a wild teenager who stole and disrespected others when he started drinking alcohol and smoking dagga in grade six.
"I was already addicted to alcohol and dagga when I got to high school. The pocket money that I was given by my parents was not enough to finance my wild lifestyle and I started stealing money from them.
I did not steal less than R100 at a time because I had to buy dagga, alcohol and entertain the five girlfriends I had at that time. I was also unruly and smoked dagga at school and backchatted the teachers. I was later expelled from the school after I was caught sleeping with one of my girlfriends in the basement," said Bhekinkosi.
His addiction worsened after he left school.
"I went to parties and was arrested three times in one year. The police would lock me up each time they found me walking alone in the early hours of morning. I was also stabbed in my left arm after a heated argument over gambling," he said.
Bhekinkosi was invited by a friend to play soccer for the Universal Church's youth group in 2018.
"I went to play for the YPG soccer team on a Saturday. Seeing how happy the boys I met at the soccer match were, I decided to attend the service on Sunday. At a service, I understood that the life I was leading was headed for destruction. I took part in the chains of prayers on Fridays for my deliverance from alcohol, dagga and gambling.
After two months in the church I was able to quit all my addictions. I made new friends in the Youth Group who encouraged me to please God with my life. I also attended services on Wednesdays for my spiritual development. I now invest in my relationship with God," said Bhekinkosi.