Isibaya Actress Zinhle Ngewenya mobilizes drug abuse campaign in the North West

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Zinhle Ngwenya started her acting career as Busi Thwala, Bongani’s daughter in SABC1’s drama series called She has come a long way since then and is currently well known for her role as Sihle on Isibaya which airs daily on Mzansi channel 161. The mother of two is making a difference in young people lives through her foundation called MZ Ngewenya Foundation alongside her husband Robert Ngwenya, who is also a businessman.

The foundation is a non-profit organization focusing on working towards empowering the youth and activating drug-free communities. They designed an initiative called #NyaopeWillFall in aid to help young people who have become drug addicts. Every year they host a music concert in aid to raise funds. Artists such as Casper Nyovest, Naak Musiq, Kwesta and many more pledged to support the cause fight. The concert opens up with a heartfelt march on Maboloka street sensitising the seriousness of Nyaope, substance & women abuse.

Nyaope also known as Wunga is a street drug which came into widespread use in SA since 2009.The substance is often described as a cocktail of various ingredients but the principal active ingredient of the drug is heroin, often smoked with cannabis and is highly addictive. Users of this drug have reported to feeling cravings on the first day of use.

Effects of Nyaope include:

  • Severe body aches
  • Glazed eyes
  • Skin diseases
  • Weight-loss
  • Tremors

In worst-case scenarios addicts may become violent and commit crimes when they are unable to access the drug. Zinhle highlighted that “Nyaope has caused a negative impact in our communities over the years because it leaves our brothers and sister disorientated.  We realized that this drug is not only dangerous to the body and mind but it also halts their lives and this gave birth to # NyopeWillfall movement”.

The foundation also opened a rehabilitation centre under called Nomaqala Centre of Hope to help individuals who are battling with drug addiction. Since the opening of the centre they have placed the recovering addicts into employment. According to Robert “after realizing that they were destroying their lives with these drugs they look back and appreciate the assistance they got at the Nomaqala Centre of Hope”.


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