12 January 2018

I fought with everyone when I was drunk

Being raised by relatives   while his parents were alive turned Makhetha into a bitter and angry child. His mother left Makhetha with a relative when he was seven years old while his father lived with his own family. 

"My mother lived and worked in another province. She did not call or visit me. I had to move from one relative to another because they struggled to provide for me. That made me angry and I resented my mother for abandoning me. I dropped out of school when I was doing grade seven because I felt I was a burden to other people while my parents were alive and working," said Makhetha.

At the age of 20 he mixed with friends who introduced him to dagga and alcohol.

"I had a temporary job and I was able to buy myself alcohol and dagga. I soon became addicted and battled to sleep at night when I was sober. I sometimes woke up during the night and went to buy alcohol at a tavern. I disrespected other people and fought with them when I was drunk," he said.

After his mother wrote a letter to his uncle asking for money, Makhetha saw the need to look for her. "The letter she sent had no address or contact details. I asked people about her whereabouts. I was able to find her after searching for her for six months. I was happy and relieved to find her. I only stayed with her for two months because I felt that her partner did not like me," said Makhetha.

In 2014 he was invited to the Universal Church and attended services because he wanted God to give him the strength to quit alcohol and dagga.

"On my first day in the church I spoke to the pastor about my problems and he advised me to attend Friday services to pray for my deliverance from alcohol and dagga. I was determined to change and the same week I arrived at church, I stopped smoking dagga and drinking alcohol," he said. Makhetha also prayed for his spiritual development at Wednesday services.

"I sought God’s presence in my life. I started reading the Bible and applied everything I learned in the church. I was able to forgive my mother for leaving me when I was seven years old. I made peace with her.  Last year she died after a short illness. I am at peace because we were able to rebuild our relationship while she was still alive. Through the word of God in the church I learned to be a man of character and respectful to other people," said Makhetha.

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