Tanzanian musician Rehema Chalamila famously known as Ray C is known for her very public battle with drug addiction.
At one point, she added so much weight, she did not look like her lean, glamorous self that the public had come to know and love
“Hapo nilikua natumia dawa methadone na ilikua inanipa appetite sana and I gained a lot of weight. I was 98kgs, madaktari wakaniambia i have to loose weight.”
‘I don’t know if I will see my children,’ cries panicked mother after the Gikomba fire that killed 15
But what pushed her to drug addiction?
“The company I was hanging out with was not good, if you hang out with a thief you become a thief, if you hang with a an alcoholic, you become one, you can’t say you’ll go to the bar and not drink…Its the company. I believe everything for a reason.”
Now, she is clean and is working hard at not slipping back to the distractive ways.
Ray C says she was totally hooked to drugs which controlled her entire life but her being clean has made her believe that anything is possible.
She said her brain told her she could not perform on stage without drugs.
To her, drugs takes control of three major parts, the brain, body and soul which are vital in ones life.
“Addiction took three of the best of me, I was heartbroken, my brain was taken away by drug use, my brain was not working because there was something else in my brain telling me I could not perform on stage without drugs, that I could not do anything without drugs, I could not go anywhere without drugs therefore I was a prisoner in my own soul,” she said at an event to mark the International Day against drug abuse which took place in Mombasa.
The event is usually marked on June 26 every year.
Ray C urged all those who have involved themselves in drug abuse to ensure they do their best to be clean as drug abuse is a desease which needs help for one to be cured.
“Wengi wanaoingia kwenye madawa , watu wanaathirika maini kwenye madawa, watu wanatumia sindano pamoja wanapata HIV, wanawake wanajiuza ili mradi aweze kupata pesa aweze kukidhi ule utegemezi wake,” she said in Swahili.
She urged health officers to sensitize on campaigns on the effects of drug abuse to ensure that people and specifically the youth are safe.
The singer had been a drug addict for a long time which affected her singing career.
She says if she was able to get through the addiction, then anybody else can. And with that, she has promised never to harm herself as she did.
“Nimeanza kumpenda huyu Ray C sitaki kumdhuru tena kwa sumu wala bunduki nataka azidi kunivutia kila nimuonapo kiioni,” she wrote.