IT HAS not been an easy road for Sechaba Shai, but he is celebrating one year of sobriety.
The firstborn child of the late Patrick Shai said when his dad died in January, many people thought he would relapse as they were very close.
The 38-year-old said: “When my dad died, I didn’t cope, especially with the way I lost him.
“But I had to keep it cool and take everything as it came. I must say my fiancee helped me quite a lot. I needed a lot of support and I got it from my fiancee and the guys at the centre.”
His fiancee Sihle Sibisi (37), the founder of the Kwanele Foundation, said she worked with Patrick on various programmes and attended some of his seminars. “During the time of his dad’s passing, I was part of the organising committee for the funeral and memorial service and our hearts just did the talking,” she said.
“We are two people who have been isolated by society. With Sechaba having a history as an addict while I have been married twice, raped and victimised, we shared a lot.”
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When asked what led him to drugs, Sechaba said he had low self-esteem and grew up in an abusive family.
“The road to recovery wasn’t easy. When I went to a rehab centre in Orlando, Soweto, they finally broke through to me and helped me focus,” he said.
Sechaba said he was also in the planning stage of writing a book. “The book will be about my life story and aims to educate people about drugs. It’s going to be raw.”
Sechaba and Sihle have been engaged for four months and he said he was looking forward to spending the rest of his life with her.