Turning over new leaf

BE THE CHANGE: Asiphe Madasi, holding a dragon fruit, is focused on farming to create a bright future
Picture: SUPPLIED

New growth path plan for Zwelitsha

Determined to bring about garner change within his Zwelitsha community, Asiphe Madasi has come up with an idea to uplift and grow the local economy, drawn from his own life experiences.

The initiative, called Vuka Zwelitsha (Wake up/Rise Zwelitsha), is geared towards creating jobs for young and old, a source of income for households and a way out of drugs for the young people.

“I had an idea whereby the community can contribute money and put it away for a fixed period of time, and this could help them with business capital.

“Possible businesses include bakeries, a petrol station and farming land to name but a few,” Madasi said.

Some businesses lie in ruins or are abandoned, a testament to what was once was a thriving economic hub.

“I must make it clear that I don’t want the money, but I’d rather this be a solely community-driven project. There are so many people that I’ve met that have no jobs.” he said.

This will to make a difference comes after overcoming years of drug addiction.

After growing up as a troublesome child and being expelled from primary school, he moved to the UK with his mother in 2002 to start high school.

“I started to mix with the wrong crowd which eventually saw me starting to smoke weed and drinking. I robbed people to fit into the crowd which saw me arrested at age 17 and where I was sentenced to six months in jail,” Madasi said.

However, this was not the end of his troubles, returning as he ran away from the UK and came back to Zwelitsha in 2010.

He quickly gained “popularity” and became a DJ – while still smoking marijuana in 2014.

“It quickly escalated and I found myself mixing the weed with mandrax with a childhood friend. I went fully into mandrax which saw me have health complications and end up hospitalised. I didn’t stop there, I went on to use crystal meth,” he said.

The final straw came in 2017 when he stole money intended for his mother. After being confronted, he assaulted his stepfather and landed himself in jail.

“I realised that I destroyed my future, my relationship with my parents and family. It was then that I admitted that I had a problem.

“My family helped me to get into Kwasizabantu Missionary in KwaZulu-Natal, where I am currently a farmer,” Madasi said.

He hopes to get the buy-in from other community members based outside the province and also other community structures so they can drive the project.

To get involved, in the foundation of this uplifting project, join the WhatsApp group on https://chat.whatsapp.com/Gpth1lAuxLJAdYU34xRI7l

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