Drug victim bares soul
“I don’t even know the number of men I slept with. I can’t even recall whether they were boys or older men because I was ‘high’ on ganja cakes and I don’t remember enjoying the acts,” chronicles one Natasha Kadiramwando of Overspill in Epworth.
Natasha,16, is now a single mother having given birth last year when she was only 15 years old and she rues the day her peers laughed at her because she didn’t know ganja cakes and cannabis.
“My friends were laughing at me saying I was backward and this forced me to try drugs. I took a concoction of the cake and smoke mbanje coupled with gulps of bronclear.
“I then got drunk that all the men who were there slept with me and I didn’t even enjoy the sex. I don’t even remember how many guys abused me,” she says.
Natasha, who was living with her mother before she remarried and relocated to Waterfalls with her new husband, said she was left to fend for herself at her uncle’s house in Epworth.
“My father neglected us when I was only two years old and since then my mother was looking after me until she remarried and moved to Waterfalls.
“She left me in Epworth were I have been living alone since then. I had no one in my life save for my friends who unfortunately introduced me to drugs,” she narrates.
She said after several escapades with drugs and sex with different men, she fell pregnant and everything has become difficult for her.
“I fell pregnant and was helped by some well-wishers and delivered my baby at Chitungwiza hospital. Since then, life has become more difficult for me since I have to look after my baby.
“I now live on menial jobs and pay for my rentals but the money is not enough. I don’t know the father of my child and she doesn’t have a birth certificate.”
Natasha is of the view that if given a chance, she can campaign against drug abuse and she is eager to start again.
“If I had a way, I would not repeat the same mistake. I want to spread the message now that drugs are dangerous and help save some lives,” she says.
Natasha’s case is not in isolation as there are many young girls and boys who have fallen victim to drug abuse.
On Wednesday, the First Lady Amai Mnangagwa through her Angel of Hope Foundation roped in church leaders, the department of social welfare and other relevant organisations as she aims to bring hope to the youths and people in Epworth.
Poverty was highlighted as the major cause of the moral decay in Epworth and to assist the community, Amai Mnangagwa introduced a reusable sanitary wear making project for the girls.
Reports from the Ministry of Health and Child Care reveals that Zimbabwe is experiencing an increase in substance use among adolescents.
The report further suggest that children use substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, inhalants such as glue and other substances.
Lately substances like maragadu, bronclee, musombodia, codeine, cane-spirit and ganja cakes are being abused by children.
Family Health Director in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Bernard Madzima notes with concern on the growing problem of drug and alcohol abuse among children and adolescents.
Dr Madzima says the abuse of these substances have negative consequences on health, mental condition and risk behaviors and criminality in general.
“The danger is that they are not regulated drinks or cigarettes and it’s not known what percentage of alcohol content is there or tobbaco elements thereby exposing lungs, liver, stomach, brain and heart to unknown toxins.
“Drug use also exposes them to risks of contracting HIV and hepatitis through the use of unsterilised drug infections.
“It increases risky sexual behavior through impairing use of protecting especially among girls,” he says.
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