His death awakened me
Wanting to belong to the popular group in high school, Bongani saved his pocket money to contribute towards alcohol and cigarette purchases.
"My friends invited me to experiment with how good it felt to be high. Out of curiosity I joined them. After a few months, it started becoming a regular thing. I started smoking and drinking every day.
To feed my addiction I saved up my weekly pocket money. I could only contribute on Fridays while my friends could afford to take out money every day. We went to night clubs and only returned home on Monday mornings to prepare for school. Our neighbours went to my mother countless times to complain about my behaviour.
My mother tried speaking to me about the wild lifestyle I led but I didn't not want to listen. Out of anger she said that I could do what I wanted, even if I was killed at a tavern, she would not care. I used to threaten to beat school teachers who complained about the way I behaved. They stopped correcting me," said Bongani.
Bongani came to his senses after witnessing the death of his friend.
"My friends and I use to provoke people when we were drunk. At a night club a friend of mine started a fight with a group of boys. We could not back him up because we were too intoxicated. I watched him beaten to death. After that incident, I decreased my alcohol intake and avoided going to night clubs," he said.
In 2017, Bongani attended services at the Universal Church while he was drunk.
"I didn't hear the preaching but I continued coming to the church. I spoke to an assistant who advised me to attend the services on Addiction Cleansing Therapy on Sundays. After a month I was able to quit drinking and smoking. I apologised to my mother for disrespecting her and today we are the greatest of friends. She now discusses things with me. My change brought so much peace at home. I spend more time meditating on the word of God," said Bongani.