eMalahleni ex-drug addict passionate about helping others

They staged a Big Walk around the eMalahleni area in a #NyaopeMustFall awareness.


The battle to end the scourge of drug abuse in the eMalahleni area is on…

And 33-year-old Crosswell Libazi, who himself was stuck in the problem, now is out in the public recruiting drug-users for thorough help.

He founded the eMalahleni Youth Against Substance Abuse – or EYASA – in 2012 and its aim is to fight both drug and alcohol abuse amongst the youth in the townships.

He said he was motivated by his own experience more than 15 years ago.

Libazi told the 013NEWS reporter that he started smoking cigarette and then learnt dagga in 1998 while with schoolmates in Grade 7 – and from there started taking heavy things like cocaine, heroine and rock.

He said these drugs were easily accessible to them through the other friends who came from rich families and who would buy them.

“I started smoking dagga in 1998 and began to taking drugs in 2000 and managed to stop in 2003,” he said when he answered questions through WhatsApp.

eMalahleni ex-drug addict passionate about helping others

“I took a decision to stop and that happened without any medication. It was time and I quit and irregardless of withdrawal difficulties I managed to stand tall till today. It’s been 15 years now,” he said.

He said Eyasa, a no-profit organisation registered with the social development department in 2015, is a link between the streets and the rehab centres.

“Challenges are the high growing statistics of Nyaope and alcohol addicts amongst our youth in the country. We have been in operation since we registered in 2015 without any government support and passion has kept us this far,” he said.



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He said they have noticed that a major cause behind the scourge of drug use was peer pressure, “let’s me try that out, then you get addicted”.

“Also lack of time by parents and being stressed with the conditions we are in,” Libazi said.

They operate their head office in Witbank CBD, 14 Diederich street, Nedbank Centre Building 1st Floor.

They also run a Facebook page called Eyasa and can be contacted on 071 403 2038.

eMalahleni ex-drug addict passionate about helping others

“We inform users, siblings and parents of the dangers through our outreach programs on door-to-door campaigns and local media.

“We don’t have a rehab centre. We just operate as a half-way house.

“When a person is released from a rehab centre we make sure we are there for them so that they do not relapse,”  he said.

(edited by ZK)

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