I slept in the backyard for eight months
It took Sibusiso three years to rebuild the trust broken in his family through his alcohol and dagga addiction. He started drinking when he was 15 and soon became addicted.
"I disrespected my family and stole from them to feed my addiction. The same year I started drinking, my mother became ill and was bedridden. I had to look after her when I returned from school every day," said Sibusiso.
Taking care of his mother became difficult for Sibusiso who always wanted to go out to drink and smoke with his friends.
"I neglected my mother and often stole from her. I would leave her alone and did not care whether she ate or not. She sometimes missed her doctor’s appointments because I had stolen her money to feed my addiction. My siblings who all worked at that time complained about how I neglected my mother, but I was not bothered," said Sibusiso
The following year Sibusiso dropped out of school because of his addiction. He continued drinking and stealing until his siblings grew tired of his behaviour and chased him out of the house.
"I slept outside in the backyard with only one blanket for eight months. I also kept my clothes in a black refuse bag with me outside because I was not allowed inside the house, even to eat. I ate at my friend’s house. I slept in the outside toilet when it was raining. I endured all types of weather for those eight months when I was not allowed to go into the house. That was when I realised that I needed to give up my bad ways in order to be able to become a part of my family again," said Sibusiso.
When he was invited to the Universal Church in 2013, Sibusiso was ready to change. "I attended the services on Fridays and asked God to deliver me from the addiction. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, I attended the youth group meetings. After two weeks in the church, I took my clothes back inside the house, but I still slept outside. I started helping my mother during the day while my siblings were at work. I cleaned the house, prepared food for her and made sure she took her medication," he said.
When his siblings noticed the change in Sibusiso and how he cared for their mother, they allowed him back into the house.
"I continued taking care of my mother until she passed on a year later. I had peace that I had a chance to care for my mother and mend my relationship with her before she passed on. Giving my life to God and sacrificing my own will to please Him was what I needed to break free from addiction and change my wayward behaviour. I stopped smoking and drinking. I set aside time to read my Bible and the books of the church in order to feed my spiritual life. I now respect my family and have regained their trust. I am not only faithful to my family, but to God with my life," said Sibusiso.