How I Rescued My Son From Drugs
For 20 years, Maria Mazonde and her son Munashe Mombe were inseparable.
The two shared an affectionate relationship that was the envy of many in their neighbourhood in Epworth.
It seemed their bond was unbreakable.
“He was the most beautiful gift I had ever seen,” said Mrs Mazonde, recounting her child’s life story.
“He always came to me for all that he needed and I was always there for him.”
This was the case before Munashe suddenly grew into a different person, which strained their relationship almost to breaking point.
In his teens, Munashe — who is now 21 — developed an addiction for illicit drugs.
Mrs Mazonde started growing suspicious of her son’s erratic behaviour.
At home, his older sibling, Mywonder, started noticing that someone was stealing his clothes. Having passed his Ordinary Level, Munashe flatly refused to further his education.
He also turned down a job opportunity his now-late father had secured for him.
At the time, he was living in Epworth with his father and elder brother, while his mother was staying in Mutoko where she runs her poultry projects.
She would visit her family at least once every month. It was then that she noticed that Munashe was having problems with staying focused and had befriended some apparently suspicious characters.
“I used to pay them a visit once every month from Mutoko,” she said.
“At one point I asked to see his driver’s licence because I wanted him to drive me around while I did my church errands.
“He failed to produce the licence and told me he had given it to someone for safekeeping.”
Concerned with her son’s unsatisfactory explanation, Mrs Mazonde started to investigate her son.
After confronting the person who was ostensibly in possession of Munashe’s driver’s licence, she got the shock of her life. Apparently, her son had surrendered his licence to a drug dealer as collateral in exchange for a 30-gramme packet of marijuana. “I was so pained that I beat him up until he pleaded for mercy and promised not to take drugs again.”
But unbeknown to her, the problems with her beloved son were only just beginning. She said her son’s drug habit appeared to change for the worse with each passing day.
Tragically, Munashe’s father, a man who had a calming influence on his son, passed away in November last year.
As a result of this family tragedy, Munashe went to live with his mother in Mutoko.
It was during this time that his love for narcotics turned worse. He was welcomed by a group of new friends, whose influence helped fuel his taste for drugs.
Munashe slowly transitioned from smoking marijuana for recreational purposes to taking the highly potent and addictive crystal meth.
Unsurprisingly, this transition signalled the collapse of Mrs Mazonde and Munashe’s revered bond.
“Our problems started when I realised that he was dabbling in crystal meth,” she said. “I tried to tell him to stay away from drugs, but the more I counselled him, the more he resented me. “Slowly I was losing my son to meth.”
In April this year, Munashe went on a three-day illicit drug binge with his friends. On the third day, he was involved in a life-threatening accident that almost cost him his life.
Under the influence of crystal meth, he slipped and fell into a deep disused mine pit, leaving him with deep cuts all over his body.
His friends hired a scorch cart and ferried him back home, as he bled profusely. Mrs Mazonde was heartbroken seeing her son being ferried back home in such a sorry state.
While she was still trying to process what was going on, she got the shock of her life. Out of the blue, Munashe, who had armed himself with an axe and was walking unsteadily, began attacking her. “I don’t know what made me duck my head,” she said.
“The axe went on to crash into a veranda pillar, which collapsed instantly. I ran for my life and called his brothers, who accompanied me back home.” Munashe had just made an attempt on his mother’s life, the woman he had loved since birth.
It actually got worse.
Upon seeing his brothers and mother returning, Munashe went berserk. He charged at his fleeing mother and siblings while wielding the axe.
It took more than an hour before his brothers could disarm and pin him down to calm the situation.
Having endured this horrifying incident and driven by a mother’s undying love for her child, Mrs Mazonde quickly organised a family meeting to address his drug problem. It was then resolved that Munashe be committed to a drug rehabilitation centre in Goromonzi.
He is currently admitted at International Wellness Centre, where he is receiving professional help as he continues his fight against drug addiction.
The Sunday Mail accompanied Mywonder on a routine visit to see him at the rehabilitation centre.
During the visit, he was a portrait of calm, good health and composure.
He had been admitted there for three weeks by that time.
“If I could turn back the hands of time, I would take myself to the time I used to be my mother’s favourite,” he said.
“I am really sorry for the pain I caused my mother and the whole family. I want to assure them that I am now ready to restart my life.”
He said he started taking drugs when he was in Grade 5.
The drug habit grew into a daily routine when he started absconding from high school to spend time at Joina City in central Harare with friends who were known drug peddlers. It was during this time that he met older drug lords who introduced him to different and more potent drugs.
Today, Munashe is commemorating Mother’s Day by celebrating his mother, who he credits with saving his life from the clutches of drug abuse and certain damnation.