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The Faces of Drugs: South Africa Pt 1

Addiction cape cape town clubbing clubs cocaine Drugs ecstasy faces Goa heroin India mandrax MDMA south africa trance Unga weed

South Africa is a very diverse country to say the least. Culturally it is a blend of European, Asian, Indian, Malay, bushman, Xhosa, Zulu, North African and so on. It goes to follow that the drug culture in South Africa would be just as diverse. There’s many different backgrounds with so many broken pasts. Add to the mix our depraved apartheid system from years gone by and you’re left with a charged environment where people look for an escape for multiple reasons.

I can’t speak for the whole of South Africa, as I happen to only be a single person limited to my own experiences, but I can share things as I see them to be. Makes sense doesn’t it? The way I will approach things in this article will be as I have experienced it in Cape Town, seeing that my entire drug reference is limited to this one city.


Trance parties

south africa The Faces of Drugs: South Africa Pt 1 rezonance festival dancefloor night

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This is a fast growing subculture, especially in the western cape, Cape Town’s province. If you take all the race groups and cultures, mix them all together, then you start to have an idea of who goes to these outdoor parties. The origins of trance stem from Goa in India. They normally take place over the course of about two or three days. In America it would be something similar to your burning man I suppose. Except that it’s normally on a scenic farm or somewhere in a secluded bush environment.

The general vibe at these parties is one of love and light. People who tend toward the hippie crowd generally are a little more in touch with nature and supposedly more enlightened. You would also find many commercial partygoers who just go for the reason to get as wasted as possible. I think I probably would of been classified somewhere in between the two descriptions. I still love the idea of trance parties, however with my history I doubt me at these venues is a good idea. The typical drugs consumed in this setting are:

“Lsd, mdma, ecstasy, Coke, khat, ketamine, shrooms and weed.”

The clubbing scene in Cape Town, admittedly, is probably a lot smaller of a venue than the ones you are used to in America, but what we lack in size we definitely make up in quality!

Dependent on the type of club you are at would be indicative of the type of drug. Coke, khat, ecstasy and pure MDMA would be the drugs that are the most popular for club goers. I was a club junkie, so I think I’m a fair judge.


Cape Flats

south africa The Faces of Drugs: South Africa Pt 1 Thug life manenberg

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This is a community filled with talented, charming, dangerous, spirited, and colorful individuals. There’s a massive gangster element in these communities, which is generally run from the main prison in Cape Town. The numbers gangs are the main gangs. 26s, 27s, and 28s. Tik is the main drug, and is generally the same thing as meth in the United States. Tik is a drug that is ravaging the cape. The incident of addiction is escalating at an astronomical rate and it’s ripping families apart.

The other drugs prevalent in this community are mandrax and unga.

Mandrax is a homemade drug which gets mixed with weed and is used in conjunction with tik. Tik being the upper, and mandrax being the downer, to balance things out.

Unga is a combination of heroine and mandrax. The cape flats is by far the biggest area in Cape Town. So sufficive to say, these are the most widely and commonly used drugs in Cape Town.

The sad thing is that Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s filled with some of the most beautiful, talented, and charming individuals. Sadly it’s in the process of being ripped apart by drugs.

If you want further reference on drugs in Cape Town, watch Ross Kemps episode on gangs of the cape. It goes into much greater depth with regards to cape flats culture and the gang problem in Cape Town.

For part two click here—> The Faces of Drugs: South Africa PT 2 <—- Focuses on the Recovery Aspect in South Africa! Don’t miss it It’ll prove a lot of your points on recovery right, and challenge others!


Cape Town Resident
Bio click “here”

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