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FIXATIONS


Contents 4-5

Contributors

6-7

Editor’s Letter

8-9

Uncovering Addictions

10-11

The Porn Effect

12-13

Enhanced Addiction

14-15

Gym is the New Black

16-17

Addicted: “A force of habit”

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Alcohol Addiction: Escaping Reality

19

Crave

20-23

Addicted to Lipstick

24

Revealing Female Fashion

25

Social Media Addicts

26-27

Addicted to Medicine

28-29

The Purple Drank

30-31

Mugged: Addicted

32-33

Addiction in a Bottle

34-35

The Games of our Lives

36-37

Obssessed with Perfection

38

Escaping Addictions


Picture by Nandipha Maliti

Pholile Mpofu, a lover of hub, listening to music on her laptop while she smokes her bubblegum flavoured hub.


CONTRI

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Zethu Hlubi (Designer) Nandipha Maliti (Editor) Simamkele George (Photographer) Amahle Mtsekana (Illustrator ) Monique January (Editor)

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Picture by Sandisele Nkwinti


IBUTORS


Editor’s Letter

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Addiction is a worldwide disease many people continue to struggle with daily. It is possible to become addicted to almost anything. Typically, when we think of addiction, we often only think of the types our parents warn us about from a young age; drugs, alcohol and gambling. Today we live in a generation where we are exposed to social media and technology, which give us access to a world of addictions we never thought possible. We aim to challenge this narrow-minded view of what addiction is and provide people with the knowledge of a new world of other addictions people struggle with daily, such as; pornography, social media, gaming and many more. We are trying to show that there is more to addiction than the uncontrollable need for a specific substance such as drugs or alcohol. We share stories of people who have battled with addiction and still continue to today. There is no specific personality type associated with addiction, and so we found it important to talk about the different addictions and their recovery processes. Although many people battle with their substance addictions, they have a wide range of access to rehab centres and group gatherings, which continue to help many people overcome their substance addiction. However, we hardly hear of places that help with overcoming your cell phone, gambling, cool drink and pornography addictions. We help shed light on that very dark road and talk about the platforms which assist with addiction; treatment centres, sober coaches and helplines, drug and alcohol addiction are an all-time topic, and as much as they are important to talk about, what about the rest? Why not help the rest of the world as well? Not talking about other addictions is robbing people of knowledge. We aim to open a doorway to learning more about ourselves and our battles. What are the signs? How do you get help? What is the road to recovery? We help answer all your burning questions, all you have to do is turn the pages. This e-publication deals with sensitive matters and we trigger-warn our readers as this may reveal unknown information about the reader. Our aim is not to traumatise the reader but to debunk addictions and create awareness around all types of addictions.


Illustration by Amahle Mtsekana


Uncovering Addictions By Amahle Mtsekana

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n addiction is when someone has lost control over their body and mind and finds themselves repeatedly engaging in activities although they are aware of the harmful consequences thereof. According to Centre on Addiction, “Addiction is a disease that affects the body and the brain.” Symptoms of addiction are the excessive use of things regardless of the negative impacts they have on one’s health, withdrawal and unsuccessful attempts to stop it. Addiction is caused by psychological factors such as depression and stress. The environment can also have an impact on people’s addictions. Common addictions include nicotine, alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescription drugs. Addiction is always seen as something that is physical, such as doing the action like smoking or drinking but there are also behavioural addictions such as gambling, gaming and sex addiction. According to Addictions.com, people who are addicted to gambling do all sorts of activities such as betting, they lose their valuables like cars and houses because of it. Such addictions are not popular because sometimes people don’t see them as addictions as they do

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not understand the meaning of addiction. Most people think that addiction is something that only affects your physical health not knowing the same applies to one’s mental health. People who have unusual addictions end up not recognising that they are addicted because they have not been informed about those addictions. Interviewing different people showed how their definitions and understanding of addictions vary but one constant answer was “not being in control”. Sipho Stamper, receptionist at Afrizan Personnel, said that eating chocolate is something that he loves to do and cannot finish a day without doing it. “I am addicted to chocolate, I eat it every day at work and at home because I love it,” said Stamper expressively. One of the things that some people don’t know is that to other people, addictions are simply things that they enjoy doing and they don’t think they have a negative impact on their health or behaviour. On a more positive note, according to William Glasser, author of Positive Addiction, positive addictions are not things that require a lot of thinking. It is something that has

value on the person whether spiritual, physical or mental. An example of a positive addiction is knitting; a person may spend a few hours per day knitting because it is something they loveSome people become addicted to gardening. There are also people who are addicted to juggling. Hence positive addictions are what uplifts you and causes peace and bliss as a result.

her experiences no addictions are good no matter how unpopular they are. Ndumiso Khumalo, attorney at Rhodes Law Clinic, said, “Addiction is not only negative as there are also positive addictions, an addiction to doing good is a positive addiction.” People are shocked when they hear about uncommon addictions that are not displayed in the media and internet as addictions.

“I was shocked when I heard some people are addicted to pain.” Patience Kundi*, businesswoman, said, “Personally anything which makes me lose self-control or any situation that has a positive or negative impact on me that I can’t control anymore, is negative in my life.” She said that when an individual cannot limit themselves or control their behaviour, it becomes negative because it’s not normal. She continues saying, “I’m so addicted, if I don’t drink strong Ceylon tea I get headaches and I have also had addictions to negative relationships.” She said according to

“To my understanding when I hear the word ‘addiction’ I just think drugs, reason being that addiction as a term is only associated with drug addicts,” said Khumalo. Stamper added, “I was unaware that there are people who are addicted to smoking the powder which is found inside flat screen TV’s, until I saw it on the news.” He added that he acknowledges that it’s wrong to be ignorant about unusual addictions because he won’t be able to detect his unknown addictions or that of his friends’ who may suffer silently from these

Patience Kundi is a pseudonym that has been used to protect the identity of the person.

unusual addictions. “I was shocked when I heard some people are addicted to pain. “I don’t understand how a person can enjoy pain being inflicted on them,” said Kundi. She also added that she doesn’t think there is such a thing as ‘weird’ addictions it’s just that people are ignorant. “I have a sudden realisation that addictions can be anything that you can’t control, I was unaware that I am addicted to the internet until my boyfriend told me,” said Kundi. There is a need for people to be informed of unpopular addictions. The youth in particular is unaware of most addictions and that is why they cannot identify certain addictions they have because they think they are normal. Addictions come in different forms whether they are physical or behavioural but they are uncontrollable. More discussions on different kinds of addictions would keep people informed about the addictions and advise them on how to get help when they find themselves in those situations. Nevertheless people should also be aware of positive addictions so that they do not criticize people who have those kinds of addictions.


“Caged Minds” Illustration by Amahle Mtsekana


The Porn Effect TW: Rape

By Zethu Hlubi

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ape culture returns to the limelight at Rhodes University, could this be the reason for the unsavoury trend residing in the student body’s pornography consumption? The impact of pornography for young boys and girls poses a threat to the development of society. Addiction, cyberbullying, and rape are just a few of the probable effects. According to the antipornography group, Fight The New Drug, many studies have shown that watching even nonviolent porn is associated with the user being more likely to use verbal coercion, drugs, and alcohol to push women into having sex with them. Those who consistently watch non-violent porn are more likely to support statements that promote abuse and sexual aggression of both women and girls. Unrealistic projections and standards of the human body as well as of sexual

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matters leads to unrealistic expectations for human characterisations. Features of male and female porn stars are exaggerated in size and enhanced in appearance. Clips in pornography show no practical consideration for duration or comfort. In pornography, men and women portray roles that are representative of a viewer’s fetishised selection. Some researchers believe pornography is pretended, and not to be imitated without caution and assuring consent. A 2010 study on popular porn films showed that 88% of scenes contained physical aggression, including spanking, gagging, and slapping. In almost all the instances women were the targets of aggressive acts, and men the perpetrators. When pornography is a teenage boys’ basis for sexual education and understanding,

rape is a foreseen ramification. Privacy policies, however, such as the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI), render Rhodes University as restricted in its monitoring of students’ internet usage. Since data storage cannot contain the large amount of information retrieved from the schools speedy WiFi software, it is difficult to police the matter through the school’s IT department alone. However, porn trends still reflect “teen” as the most commonly searched porn term and Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Nigeria have topped lists of countries that search for porn. Pornography may not necessarily mean the rise of rape culture but it does nothing to reduce it and only perpetuates the force that is rape.


Picture by Monique January

Different ways to satisfy your sexual desires. The recent hype over Fifty Shades of Grey, a book about sex and BDSM, has women and men eager to explore with alll sorts of sex toys, inculding vibrators, kegel balls, dildos and many more. All of this while enjoying porn.


Enhanced Addiction By Monique January

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ccording to Health24, low selfesteem, a poor body image and the perception that one does not meet the modern ideals of masculinity, are the leading factors of male obsession with gyms and bodybuilding supplements. Health24 argues that this obsession could be a sign of bigorexiaan eating disorder that involves distorted body image and an obsession with gaining muscle. Joshua Ngwarai and Mwazvita Mutowo, third year students at Rhodes University and gym members, say that to gym is addictive as the body enjoys the chemicals it releases in this process. Ngwarai and Mutowo says taking supplements is natural as one cannot get sufficient calories from the food you eat to sustain your body whilst working out. However, as much as it is natural within body-building, Ngwarai and Mutowo say it becomes an addiction according to the body-goals set by the individual. They have also noted that men bodybuild and gym because of low self-esteem, poor body image, societal pressure and that the most pressure is within the gym as men compare

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themselves to others. As a result, “Some guys attend the gym during quiet times whilst others wear long sleeved clothes to not feel inferior to the bigger built guy,� added Ngwarai. Health24 notes that unlike women who experience anorexia or bulimia because of desiring to be thin, men desire to be both lean and muscular and they use an increasing number of supplements to achieve it. However, the tendency is no longer limited to men only as women body-builders like Iris Kyle and professional tennis player, Maria Sharapova, have been found guilty of using supplements like meldonium and steroids to enhance their careers. However, supplements within professional sports dates to the 1800’s where athletes in Athens are said to have consumed nine kilos of meat, nine kilos of bread and nine litres of wine before competitions, underpinning the ideology of needing enhancers. The first Olympic Games was held in Athens in 1896 and the start of finding a competitive edge in sports began as marathon runners were not allowed to eat the night before the competition, while others


Naledi Dlulisa, fitness instructor, completing her daily fitness routine at Kingsfield.

consumed egg whites. There was always a need for more effective methods as Mutowo says, “It’s never enough and you always want something stronger.” Mass uses of steroids started at the Olympic Games of Tokyo in 1964. Naledi Dlulisa, fourth year student at Rhodes University and a gym member, says that as someone who studies the muscular system and muscular skeletal, she is aware that the body is naturally built to sustain itself thus supplements are not needed. However, Dlulisa says not everyone has the necessary patience and it takes approximately four months for the average male to build bigger muscles. Dlulisa also added that everyone has their own body goals and metabolisms differ and while she depends on a regular workout and protein-rich diet, she drinks protein shakes. As a fitness instructor, Dlulisa’s main advice is to place more emphasis on your workout and diet and you may add a protein shake on the side, “But do not become like those people who cannot live without supplements, it’s not healthy.” According to Vivek Mittal, fitness expert and personal trainer, people often ask if it’s necessary to take supplements and his answer is no. Mittal explains using a catalyst analogy, which is a chemical used to make a

Pictures by Monique January

reaction happen faster. When A and B are mixed within the presence of a catalyst, X is produced but X will still be produced when A and B are mixed without the catalyst, it will only be at a slower pace. The analogy demonstrates that supplements are not necessary in bodybuilding, the essentials are regular workouts and a protein-rich diet. Thus, taking supplements for bodybuilding is not necessarily a bad thing but an overuse of it does make it harmful to one’s health. Mittal adds that supplements like protein boosters are harmless when used correctly hence it is important to speak to your doctor and find out how much protein your body mass requires.

Joshua Ngwarai, third year student and gym member at Rhodes University, demonstrates his daily fitness routine which includes push ups, sit ups, and squats.


Gym is the New Black By Simamkele George

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udakwashe Nhira is a student at Rhodes University (RU) who is carving out his own path in the world. Besides that Nhira is also a gym enthusiast and is amongst the trendsetters in a recent gym trend of over-exercising; a trend that has begun to hit South African shores in recent years. A relatively 21st millennial trend, a study by the journal of Gambling to assess the prevalence of behavioural addictions in an adolescent population found that over exercise can be a behavioural addiction as opposed to a mental condition. In recent years many sections of society are torn between exercise addiction as being a legitimate addiction while others think that there is not much harm in putting a few more hours in the gym. When quizzed about this trend, Nhira believes that putting effort in the gym toachieve more results is an admirable act as one’s personal goal. He also added however that it is a concern if one exercises because they subconsciously seek approval from others about their body image. “It’s like buying a car with nice rims, they’re cool, but the only people who can see them when you drive are outside your car.”

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Kudakwashe Nhira, going about his daily routine at the gym. His routine includues weigh

A sense of humour and a relaxed outlook on life are some of the words that can be used to describe Nhira. Although Nhira is seen as a normal university student going about his day-to-day activities, he is one of but a larger group of students and youth in South African society riding the millennial trend of gyming to a point of bordering on over-exercising. As often is the case with new trends, it has its critics and advocates. Besides mental illnesses and physical health problems such as weakened bones, recent studies have found that this trend can lead to things such as a Leaky Gut Syndrome, according to Australian sports journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Leaky Gut Syndrome is a condition in which the gut lining weakens, resulting in the passage of germs and toxins into the bloodstream and it is believed that the resultant leakage of toxic waste is a primary cause of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Chronic Fatigue. Sport professionals and scientists from the University of Illinois and Kaiser Permanente who tracked exercised habits, suggests that there is no fault in hard-core commitment and pushing one to the limit.

Nhira is a busy individual who does many things, but he and his friends would agree that he spends most of his time at gym, where he is a regular member. While RU’s gym, an old, inhouse university gym with drab yellow painting and brick-mortar exterior design, won’t necessarily blow you away, it’s still a quality gym in a town that doesn’t have too many proper exercise facilities that are in proximity to students. Familiarity amongst students and exercising with friends also creates a relaxed atmosphere and it builds motivation. This is possibly why students and, in particular Nhira, keep returning to the gym. Exercising releases endorphins and dopamine according to healthline.com. These are the same neurotransmitters released during drug use. People who enjoy exercise feel joy and reward after exercising and when they stop the neurotransmitters go away. “It’s an addiction,” Nhira added “and I want to keep growing.” Ayanda Ndzilili, a regular gym partner and mutual friend, agreed jokingly of his evaluation. “[Kuda] does not miss gym unless he is dying. That’s his second home.” Although Nhira admits he became


ht lifting, puish ups and lunges. Gyming to Nhira is a form of therapy but more so a means to look and feel good.

seriously involved in gym at RU, he does believe that background influences a person’s endearment to gym. Nhira, originally from Zimbabwe and a former under 20 national Rugby team player, admits that gym is something he used to have a desire for at a young age. “I used to see people who were massive back in the day [because of gym], and I actually wanted to be somebody who lifted weights, [and] have the abs going and stuff”. While exercising excessively is seen as a harmless activity in many parts of the world, research has shown it does not only take a toll on one from a physical point but from a psychological perspective as well. “I had an ankle injury two weeks ago but I kept working out,” Nhira said, “It’s probably because I don’t want to lose what I’ve worked for, and the small comments my friends [would] say. If you lose weight people will think you’re sick,” he laughed. In the technologically advanced social communication world of today and having a “great Instagram” society is more vulnerable to body-shaming than ever. Often thought to be women who are most vulnerable to

body shaming, men can also suffer this form of bullying. Professional athlete and American football player, Tom Brady, was a subject of body shaming earlier this year in June. Nhira was also a victim of body shaming himself when he was younger and while he admits that over exercising can be dangerous, he often provides positive words about the effect of exercising. “I become more confident when I see results and also gym is a break from academics.” Nhira sees himself going to the gym more often in the future and he believes exercise is beneficial unless one pushes their limits. One can conclude that for the average student, gym-goer and social media user, feeling motivated to hit the gym is not too difficult. However, there’s a fine line developing between those who want to work out to stay healthy, strong and fit, and those who push themselves to their physical and mental limits. Many can easily fall into the trap of exercise addiction and as many studies have shown, such as the British American Journal, there is a reason why exercise addiction has been classified as a serious medical condition.

Pictures by Simamkele George


Addicted: “A Force of Habit” By Nandipha Maliti “It’s a force of habit, sometimes it’s not even the thing you’re addicted to, it’s the action,” says *Rubi Mona as she sits in her corner, earphones plugged in, hood on, absorbed by the work on her laptop. Mona, a fourth year Rhodes University student, is described by her friends as blunt, opinionated, chilled and very genuine. Nervously laughing, she also admits to being an addict. At 18 years old, Mona was peer pressured down the path of smoking cigarettes. Initially when she started smoking she says it was social and very occasional, “But stress puts you in a position where you just need something to breathe, so how people go for a run, you go for a smoke,” says Mona. Mona describes her addiction as both habitual and psychological, the same way people who think that drinking drowns their problems, people think that smoking is some sort of relief, and the problem is tobacco is addictive. The action of going out to take a smoke is also addictive.” For Mona, smoking is a way to destress, she mentions that in a way, her body has convinced itself that it needs a cigarette to get by. Waving her hands in frustration, she describes her annoyance with people dramatising smoking and seeing it as some dramatic life event when it’s really not. For Mona, smoking is something that happens on a daily basis, the same way people have different coping mechanisms, for her smoking is just that. Apart from stress, the 22 year old also suffers from insomnia, which led her to look to weed

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for a cure, “I mean I smoke ‘herb’, but I don’t smoke it to counter cigarettes, cause initially when I started smoking weed, it’s because I’m an insomniac, so it helped me with sleeping, now I guess it helps on extended levels,” says Mona. She then goes on to add that she doesn’t think she’ll ever enjoy weed the same way other people do, because for her it has a purpose, however, she has since gotten addicted to it.

“I think it’s sort of like a fake psychological remedy” Her closest friends have also shared their sentiments on her addiction saying, “I think she has an addiction because she smokes a cigarette for everything; after a meal, in the morning, to calm down and as for the weed, it’s an every night thing,” says Ntsaky Nyathi. Kulukazi Holomisa, another friend of Mona’s, also shared the same sentiments saying, “She smokes every day, sometimes she goes

through a whole pack in one day and she’ll smoke two joints by herself, I don’t know if that’s a lot for someone but it’s quite an addiction.” Although her friends know of her addiction, her family doesn’t even know she smokes. She goes on to mention that, “I’m an open book at every level, the only thing with smoking is that I know it’s frowned upon in my family because they’re those people who believe if you’re smoking cigarettes you’re probably doing drugs, which is not the case, so for the sake of respect and avoidance of conflict they don’t know that I smoke and they’ll never know.” Mona has proven to be more than just her addiction. She lit up as she spoke about her dreams for her future. Ten years from now she sees herself working for an international organisation, be it the United Nations or International Space Station, however she mentions that is just for capital, as she also has hopes of enlarging her personal business endeavours, “and maybe not smoking”, she jokingly adds. She also adds that she would love to have kids but doesn’t see marriage in her future. However, as someone raised by a single mother, she would like to afford her children a two-parent lifestyle, although she mentions she sees nothing wrong with being a single parent, “Depending on whether or not I have the cancer at that stage,” she says teasingly. “Some people try to use drugs as an excuse to their lack of responsibility and maturity but it’s not that deep for me. I mean it’s just an action we all find our ways to cope with stuff, we all find things that we like doing be it detrimental or not.” Mona says she’s thought about quitting, not in the sense that it’s this horrible thing that she needs to stop cold turkey, but she definitely thinks she won’t be smoking that much later in life. For now, she remains blunt, opinionated, chilled, genuine and an addict.

Rubi Mona is a pseudonym that has been used to protect the identity of the person.


“But stress puts you in a position where you just need something to breathe, so how people go for a run, you go for a smoke.”- *Rubi Mona

Pictures by Nandipha Maliti

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The liquor stores in Grahamstown are always packed and ready witth alcohol for consumers to buy.

This board outside Rat & Parrot Restaurant and Pub, is always out and updated with the latest alcohol specials for the day.

The fridges in the liquor store are easily accessible and people are able to go inside the fridge to pick the beverage opf their choice.

Pictures by Amahle Mtsekana

ALCOHOL ADDICTION: ESCAPING REALITY By Amahle Mtsekana

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he Grahamstown population is made up of a few people originally from the town and the rest are students and individuals who come for work purposes. The majority of people who drink alcohol are Rhodes University students, Midlands College students and the working class. Night clubs close to the campus offer specials on certain days such as; the ‘Wednesday 2 For 1’ special offered by Prime night club and the ‘Thursday R2 Tequila’ special at 37 On New . This allows students to have easy access to alcohol as they even drink during the week following the specials. In 2013 a research by the Centre for Applied Legal studies proved that Rhodes University was the one university with the highest alcohol consumption in the country. What students do not realise is that they

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are at risk of alcohol addiction because the frequent drinking may result in addiction. According to Mayoclinic, drinking too much alcohol causes the functions of the brain to change and also causes people to lose the ability to judge and control their own body. This results in people craving alcohol and trying to restore the pleasures of feeling happy through drinking. Kayleigh Damita Perumal, Rhodes University English honours student, said that when she came to Rhodes she was exposed to a different world of drinking where drinking was normalised. “I can definitely say I drink more now than I did then,” said Damita. Pop culture is one of the many influences of alcohol abuse. Entertainers like Zodwa Wabantu perform on stage holding a Savana cider. In July, Emtee, South African hip hop rapper, was performing while drunk

which resulted in him falling on stage and his fans were so disappointed. David Masenya, fan of Emtee, even commented on the video on YouTube saying; “I'm so disappointed by Emtee's label and this show for allowing him to be on the show like this.” Drinking alcohol every weekend and drinking when there are weekday specials could highly lead to alcohol addiction. Young people look up to entertainers and resemble their lifestyle, and one of those things is alcohol abuse. Although the youth imitates these people, they can see the negative impacts alcohol abuse has on them and the bad publicity they get. The youth perhaps need to ask themselves if they really want to end up like the famous people who have damaged their lives through alcohol abuse or if they want to tread on a better path.


CRAVE

Picture by Amahle Mtsekana

By Monique January

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ccording to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, an addiction is defined as “A primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.” While most people are aware of common addictions such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, there are many unknown addictions. As an addict myself, craving things from the earth that are not food, such as soil, chalk and coal are known as Geophagia whereas other items not from the earth such as paper are known as Pica. While these addictions may seem to appear out of nowhere, both Pica and Geophagia are linked to people who suffer from a lack of zinc or iron and more serious illnesses such as autism and mental illnesses.

Kamva Makwedini, student at Midlands College. Holding wet soil after eating it, she always craves wet soil especially after showers of rain.

Pica and Geophagia have been in my family for generations with my aunt being hospitalized for eating newspaper and my brother for eating cement and because of lack of exposure and knowledge of these addictions it was not seen as an addiction. Chewing ice is also linked to Pica and Geophagia as people who are addicted to ice could be anemic and lack essential vitamins. Although as an adult one can control your actions, the desire to eat soil and the mouthwatering thought cannot be controlled but how many people suffering from this know where it stems from? While there are helplines and rehabilitation centers for common addictions such as alcohol and drugs, there is not enough advice or recognition of uncommon addictions. The best advice is to seek medical attention and find out what it is that your body is lacking and how to provide your body with the necessary vitamins through food or expert-advised supplements.

There is a song by Cheryl Fernandez Versini that says, “Too much of anything can make you sick, even the good can be a curse,” and this is the best definition of being balanced or being addicted, as everything is okay if it’s not overused. It is important to remember that addiction is a mental illness. Anything that the brain associates with happiness and satisfaction can become an addiction hence people can become addicted to anything. While addictions may not always be negative, the results are almost always negative with long term psychological effects. Thus, millions of people are suffering from uncommon addictions but are unaware of their addictions to start with. People should be more informed on how the body communicates to alert one of what it needs, lacks or has too much of and perhaps the term addiction has not been properly debunked yet.


Addicted to Lipstick By Nandipha Maliti

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A day in the life of Boniswa Matiwane, a postgraduate politics student at Rhodes University, starts with a brief hissing sound of her lipstick bag zip. She struggles through the bag, searching for her colour of the day. Purple, seeming to have uplifting qualities, this little tube of lipstick immediately transforms her mood as she slowly applies it on her lips, smiling. She describes how naked she feels without it, so when she has it on she feels good inside and out. While going about her daily activities, she also manages her lipstick addiction, always whipping out her phone to check if her lipstick still looks good. Her friends don’t complain, as she’s happier with her lipstick than without it. Tagging along on her journeys to the lipstick store, advising her on her next lip colour, it’s like a part-time job for them, and they love it.


As part of Boniswa Matiwane’s daily routine, she applies her favourite Revlon dark purple lipstick for the day.

Matiwane finally meets up with Ntsaky Nyathi, one of her closest friend, and they enjoy a walk to the Dining Hall (DH), having great conversation and laughs.

Matiwane leaves lipstick smudges on her coffee cup, and she reveals that it’s a daily struggle and there’s nothing she can do about it.


Matiwane and Nyathi grab a lipstick at Clicks to get a closer look of the texture and colour of the lipstick.

Matiwane obsessed with her new lip colour and embracing it with the rest of her look.

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Matiwane goes back to her natural lips after a day well spent shoping for lipsticks.


Revealing Female Fashion By Monique January

Pictures by Nandipha Maliti

TW: Rape

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odwa Wabantu, South African socialite and dancer, made the headlines once again, this time at the 2018 Durban July for wearing a dress designed to leave no space for underwear. This dress attracted many negative comments but Zodwa defended herself saying she is embracing her pride, something everyone should have. But what are the implications of this kind of pride in society? According to Doctor Baumgartner, author of You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About You, our clothes, like all our behavioural patterns reveals the secret desires that we are trying to hide. Baumgartner says young girls wearing revealing clothing are either attention seekers or have the urge to be in control and have power, knowing that others will look at them The Spiritual Science Research foundation calls this new fashion trend a “sex appeal” with male comments saying they would have more respect for women if they

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had a more reserved clothing style. South Africa has one of the highest rape statistics with men often victim blaming the female for wearing revealing clothing, but this is highly controversial as 41 percent of all rapes are towards children and have no link to clothing.

“Women should be allowed to wear what they want without being objectified.” In an interview Jasmine Lewis, fourth year student, said that “If wearing revealing clothing makes you lose yourself in the process, in an attempt to simply fit in, it is wrong”. She also added that it depends what your reasons are although she disagrees with it. “Women should be allowed to wear what

they want without being objectified.” Psychologists say that when someone wears revealing clothing, the mind perceives them to be less intelligent, power hungry and attention seekers. Hence the question, is this the perception that Zodwa Wabantu has fallen victim to or has she proven that self-acceptance can lead to body positivity? Zodwa is constantly challenging the boundaries placed on women in society, perhaps we should too, if it does not go against one’s values and beliefs.

Khethiwe Shobede, a second year Rhodes university Student shows how wearing revealing cltothing has become the new trend.


Khanyisa Gova, a fourth year Rhodes University student, consumed by social media, after the death of Khensani Maseko. #RIPKhensani trended for a few days, and Gova was following the trend.

Social Media Addicts Hijack Khensani Maseko’s Passing

TW: Suicide

By Nandipha Maliti

No one deserves to be a trending topic with the prefix RIP to their name,” a saddening cry from twitter user @NtsakyN, following the death of Rhodes University student, Khensani Maseko, who allegedly ended her life as a result of being raped . Mourning is a normal human reaction when someone you love has passed on. Nevertheless, it is also possible that you are saddened by the death of someone you’ve never crossed paths with. Grieving on social media has become the “new fashion” for our generation. On Sunday, the 5th of August, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram echoed with the cries of Maseko’s followers, friends, and celebrities who came together to overtly mourn her death. They swarmed with comments similar to that of twitter user @Katlego_Moncho which read “I’m hurt. I’m numb. Rest in Peace angel,” resulting in the trending hashtag, #RIPKhensani. We spoke to Khanyisa Gova, a

Pictures By Nandipha Maliti

fourth year Rhodes University student, about her views on social media surrounding Maseko’s passing. Gova mentioned that she felt people thought because it didn’t happen to them or someone they know, they felt they could

“No one deserves to be a trending topic with the prefix RIP to their name.” monopolize on her trending. “People often praise you more when you’re dead and they generally just do it for the hype,” says Gova. However, she adds, “One day you’re trending and the next you’re forgotten, she’s not the first to trend and she won’t be the last.” Maseko also influenced her trending, by using her social media to send a message before taking her own life. Gova on twitter, reading the tweets under #RIPKhensani, still in disbelief about what happened to Maseko.

“When she was alive she was a powerhouse, she already had a large media following, so she used her platform to make a statement, she wanted people to go back to her page and remember who she was and what she was about,” says Gova. Social media addicts crave attention and often use deaths of popular individuals as a platform for self-glorification. “At their most cynical, socialmedia users can turn a celebrity death into an easy branding tool,” says Johnny Oleksinski, writing for the New York Post. The trending of #RIPKhensani has turned what was supposed to be paying respects, to a hijacking of the spotlight from a sad passing of a young leader, as a way of self-promotion.


ADDICTED TO MEDICINE By Nandipha Maliti “Prescription drug addiction can be caused by the abuse of medication that is classified as prescription only,” says Lucie Allan, head pharmacist at Settlers Hospital. According to Allan, abuse is classified as not taking medication correctly, so if it is taken the way it was prescribed to be, then you’re not abusing it. You are only abusing medication if you try and take more than what has been prescribed, meaning more medication in quantity and more frequently which can then become an addiction. Most people take prescription drugs only for the reason the doctor intended, however, Candice Bisson, a pharmacist at Clicks Pharmacy, says that a lot of the time when people have an operation they get prescribed with things like opioids or sleeping tablets, which are very addictive. “It’s very easy to become dependent on them, so a lot of prescription drug addiction starts with being prescribed with medication and not being monitored properly,” Bisson adds. According to Allan, there is only a

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particular category of drugs that have high abuse potential, which have addictive active ingredients that have a similar chemical structure to illicit drugs, such as cocaine and other hard drugs. “So, if one were to take large amounts and if you’re predisposed, chances are you will get addicted to them,” she says worryingly. She goes on to mention that these drugs are classified higher up, there is a regulatory body that regulates medicines in South Africa and they have classified t h e m according to safety and addiction potential or what is known as dependency producing, the ones that have the least amount are over the counter drugs. There are certain prescription drugs that are called high schedule drugs, which even on prescriptions have very specific instructions about how they should be taken. Extra precautions have to be taken when

dealing with these drugs. According to Allan, these include sleeping tablets, antianxiety medication and painkillers, “However not all painkillers, only the codeine and morphine type that have a particular chemical structure, all pharmacists know they have to be extra aware when they are dealing with those medicines,” says Allan.

G r a h a m s t o w n Pharmacy, mentioned that it’s not only prescription medication that is a problem when it comes to addicts as “over the counter abuse is also huge.” The painkillers with Codeine are the mostly abused, which is very difficult to control because people go from pharmacy to pharmacy to buy them.” Bisson added that there is no central database that links all pharmacies, so this is why they are able to get a box of medication from this pharmacy and then go to another one if they are paying cash, as opposed to using medical aid. However, the problem of hopping from one pharmacy to another to feed their addiction is not the only thing people do. Allan adds that people come with fake prescriptions all the time, it’s a common problem, but pharmacies in Grahamstown have managed to handle the situation by communicating with

“There isn’t a particular category or age of people who suffer from prescription drug addiction.” An article in WebMD stated that in recent years, there has been a rise in prescription drug abuse. This increase has led to more people landing in the Emergency Room because of accidental overdoses and more admissions to treatment programs for drug addictions. In addition to this, Wimpie Bosch, a pharmacist at

each other about the possibility of someone coming in with a fake prescription. “We all communicate quite clearly with each other. If we suspect that someone is an addict we tell each other, because the prescription drug addict will always try different pharmacies.” Bosch went on to add that prescription drug abuse is not a huge problem in Grahamstown because the doctors and pharmacists are strict and have a good relationship and that prescriptions are not easy to come by. However, sadly he says that in big cities it is a huge problem, as there are many doctors and pharmacies available. And so, prescription drug addicts can start abusing from as little as the age of 14 years. Nevertheless, addiction knows no age, “In my experience as a pharmacist for over 20 years, there isn’t a particular category or age of people who suffer from prescription drug addiction,but people with more money afford to abuse the more expensive drugs, whether it is cough medicine or very expensive painkillers,” Allan sorrowfully adds.


A tub of prescribed Painamol painkillers popped open, these pills are highly addictive and when taken incorrectly in a high quantity, can lead to overdose and drug addiction.

For many, the first choice of taking prescription drugs is voluntary and often necessary. However, when time goes on the repeated abuse of prescribed drugs affects a person's self-control and ability to make the correct choices. Therefore, it is up to you to take control of your own addiction before it’s too late.

Pictures by Nandipha Maliti


The Purple Drank By Simamkele George

Ilustration and pictures by Amahle Mtsekana

A new drug popular amongst teens and people in their early 20’s, lean, is known as a recreational drug and is one that is popularized by American popular culture. Although many regard it as a recreational drug, health setbacks in recent years of people in American popular culture such as Lil Boosie and Lil Wayne are a cause for concern. On September 7, prominent American rapper Mac (Malcom McCormick) Miller was found dead at his San Fernando Valley home from a suspected drug overdose which was following American singer Demi Lovato’s overdose in July. This provoked an outpouring of condolences to the rapper and even more so started a conversation about how our culture thinks and talks about addiction and recovery, and the supposed recreational drug that is lean. Sometimes known as purple drink and syrup, lean is a codeine-based concoction which comprises of prescription-strength cough medicine, soft drinks and flavoured sweets, according to Ray Cornell from drugabuse.com. The prescription

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cough syrups contain codeine, a powerful opioid drug, and promethazine, an antihistamine that causes sedative effects. In her book, Country Fried Soul: Adventures in Dirty South Hip Hop (2005), Tamara Palmer traces the

“a lot of people at university are depressed so this is like a way to handle that depression.” origins of lean to Southern United States in Houston in the 1980’s. During the early 1960’s an early form of purple drink, a combination of beer or wine with the cold medication Robitussin, started to be used by blues musicians and it was not until the 1980’s that the drink started to gain popularity in the Houston area amongst hip hop musicians. Due to its popularization in Hip Hop

culture, a culture that is followed closely by American and South African youth, and its easily accessible ingredients, the drug is commonly used by the youth in South Africa. In recent years the drink has hit the shores of South Africa where the craze has taken off in places such as the Cape Flats where it is being reportedly consumed by school children. According to Genevieve Serra from IOL news, a Mitchells Plain chemist was quoted as saying he had seen an increase in scholars trying to buy cough syrup, with it even going for as little as R15, over the counter. He later added that the problem had been around for some time, but he largely blamed the recent spike use to its popularisation in American hip hop culture in acts such as Future and Lil Wayne who often promote the drink in their music. Prominent rapper Lil Wayne is known for his affinity for lean where he has lyrics such as “Up in the studio me and my drink, please let me be and let me do my thang… You don’t know how to treat her, you don’t know that I need her,” where he compares lean


With easily accessible ingredients like Sprite and cough syrup, lean has become a quick fix drug.

to a woman whom he has affection for. What is so risky about this drink? Cough syrups are meant to make one feel better, while soft drinks and sweets are not that harsh, are they? With the drink also gaining prominence amongst university students, fourth-year pharmacy student at Rhodes University (RU), Revelations Sityilelo Mgxekwa, someone who has companions who is addicted to lean, believes that lean makes a compelling case as a fully developed drug because it does have harmful health effects. “The thing is teenagers and people in university can make the drink out of easy-to-obtain ingredients,” he said, “so they often get together with friends to make it without understanding that lean is a powerful narcotic drug that can have serious health effects.” In South Africa, local hip hop musicians often champion the drink too with Emtee often seen with a Styrofoam cup with a purple concoction in it and AKA with lyrics such as, ‘Coming to you live from the third world. Getting high on the purple.” Ongezile Nyengule* a student at RU and someone who uses lean many times says he started ‘leaning’ in grade 11 and a big reason for this was because he saw Riky Rick use it in the popular song “Sidlukotini”. He often obtains the cough syrup without a prescription in the local pharmacy and would lie and “complain about having

a cough” and “they will just give it to us.” The drug, as with most other recreational drugs, tends to be used by university students as a depression coping-mechanism. Mathabo Pule*, another student at RU who uses Adco-dol pills, which contain codeine phosphate, instead of the drink form of lean says he ‘leans’ “probably four times a week.” He believes lean is a safe form of escape as a recreational drug that is “not too harmful” as opposed to other hard substances such as alcohol. “I mean people know better than to just do something of that calibre because I do it because of the feeling it gives off, it’s like an antidepressant,” he said “and I mean a lot of people at university are depressed so this is like a way to handle that depression.” Mgxekwa however discredits this way of thinking, “Many people believe the drug is safe because it contains substances regularly prescribed by doctors, but it can cause disastrous health problems and even death. Even those celebrities who drink lean are also having health problems like Lil Wayne.” With these findings and lean use starting to trickle down to South African universities and the wider public, active awareness about lean should be made as the health of known lean users is affected. This could save the youth of South Africa.


MUGGED: ADDICTED

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Coffee and tea are the most accepted drugs in the world with 70-80% of people addicted to it. While 400 billion cups of coffee and tea are consumed around the world yearly, there is still doubt as to whether it is an addiction or not.

By Amahle Mtsekana and Zethu Hlubi

While Rooibos tea does not contain caffeine and might not be a negative addiction, it is still an addiction.


Addiction In a Bottle

By Amahle Mtsekana

Timidly smiling, revealing his white teeth which glowed even brighter in contrast with his dark chocolate smooth skin. Continuously tapping the outdoor table in front of him, laughing, Sibusiso Mbonde , a taxi driver, reminisces on the past saying, “In Benjamin Mahlasela Highschool when I was in Grade 11, I dropped out because the syllabus in the exams was not the syllabus we were taught during the year, so I fought with the teachers together with a few other learners who were against that.” He then found a job which sustained him for about a year and he never returned to school again. While Mbonde has overcome many obstacles in his life, one of the biggest challenges he struggles to overcome is his addiction to cool drink. “I don’t wanna lie, I think I’m addicted to cool drink, every day I have to drink one, I even finish a 2 litre by myself,” said Mbonde. He says that the weather outside does not matter to him, come rain or sunshine, when he needs a cool drink he cannot do anything else until he gets it. With an embarrassed look holding his chin, looking down at his feet under the table, he nervously says, “I’m afraid this will cause me to have health problems and I think I need help.” He said he has tried many times to go a whole day without drinking cool drink but he has failed. Mbonde said that juice is tasteless to him, adding that when he drinks juice it feels like he’s drinking water. “I want to feel the acid and sparkles in my mouth in order to be satisfied,”

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Mbonde says, stretching his neck and hands looking tired, as he was coming from the taxi rank on a Sunday afternoon. As a result of his dislike for the taste of juice and water, he says he no longer drinks water unless he has to take medication, he drinks a cool drink whenever he feels thirsty. “I feel like a cool drink does the same function as water, I don’t even buy water,” he added. Sinethemba Magaba, his childhood friend, said, “Ndingayingqina nam into yokuba uSbu uyayithandi idrink ene-acid uyakwazi novimba nam lo asele i2litre yeRefresh yedwa.” He added that he also likes cool drinks and therefore does not see anything wrong in what Mbonde is doing.

“I want to feel the acid and sparkles in my mouth in order to be satisfied.” His friend from the rank, Phakamani Nteyi, said, “Cooldrink is like his everyday lunch, he buys it frequently, he does not like food, sometimes he just buys cool drink for the whole day and he finishes it alone.” Nteyi said that he had advised Mbonde to reduce his intake of cool drinks but he’s stubborn and they even argue because of that. He said that he has decided to stop talking about it because he does not want them to fight anymore. Soda drinks have high sugar content,

every can of 12 oz (355ml) Coke has 30g of sugar. Mountain Dew has even more sugar, it has 15% more sugar than Coke, and it has 40% more caffeine. The maximum of added sugar which men can consume per day is 9 teaspoons. Drinking soda causes blood levels to increase rapidly and that causes more fat in the body. It results in high risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes, brain volume and lower memory and cancer. People who often drink 1- 2 cans of soda a day or more have 26% chances of having type 2 diabetes. Mbonde says that if there was any rehabilitation centre for people who are addicted to cool drinks, he would definitely go there. Some things don’t seem like they can be addictive but surprisingly there are people who are addicted to cool drinks and some of them don’t even realize that they are addicted. Mbonde showed courage to be able to see that he has a problem and needs help. He is aware of the health risks he has put himself in and is willing to find help. Regardless of his background, education and occupation he still aims high. An addiction can be caused by what you thought can never be harmful to you but because of using too much of it you may find yourself addicted. People need to be informed about the dangers of drinking too much cool drinks. The people have to be aware of what is good for their health and what can negatively affect their health. It is not only drug abuse that affects one’s health but even those things that are not drugs such as cool drinks.


After a long day of work, just after washing the taxi. Sbusiso Mbonde, taxi driver, drinks the third bottle of Coke for the day.

Picture by Amahle Mtsekana


The Games of Our Lives By Zethu Hlubi

M

any students spend their time living in a virtual world of gaming. According to the University of New Mexico, recent studies suggest that six to 15 percent of all gamers exhibit signs that could be characterised as addiction. The most addictive video games are designed to be challenging enough to keep a player returning to play more. Many different factors constitute a gaming addiction. However, according to the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, the symptoms of a gaming addiction can be both emotional and physical. Emotional symptoms of the addiction include: Feelings of restlessness, irritability when unable to play, preoccupation with thoughts of previous online activity, anticipation of the next online session, lying to friends or family members regarding the amount of time spent playing and isolation from others in order to spend more time gaming. Physical symptoms of the addiction include: Fatigue, migraines due to intense concentration, eye strain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome caused by the overuse of a controller or computer mouse and poor personal hygiene. A gaming addiction can have serious long-term consequences, such as sleep disorders or diet-related health issues. A gaming addiction can be expensive considering the costs of gaming equipment

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as well as the internet usage. The addiction can also be time consuming. Video game dependency was diagnosed with the video game that was adapted from the Internet Addiction Scale3. It assesses the following addiction criteria: preoccupation and salience, conflict, loss of control, withdrawal symptoms, and tolerance. Its discriminatory power was found to be good. Jack Van der Merwe is a fourth-year student who is head of the Rhodes University gaming society’s “role-playing” department. Van der Merwe describes gaming as “Somewhere people go to experience something. So that experience can be something as simple as having fun or just playing to be better at the games.” He goes on to point out other uses for gaming to a gamer, “Sometimes people go to it to be sad or to have cathartic experiences, sometimes it’s more than just about having fun.” Van der Merwe realises how timeconsuming gaming can be and is sure not to devote all of his time just to gaming. He also takes an interest in other games, such as role-playing games for instance, Dungeons and Dragons, card games like Magical Gathering and board games. For Van der Merwe gaming has been part of his life from as early as his childhood. He describes his interest in gaming as being fun and a form of escapism. “It’s something

fun to do, it’s a skill. You’re learning a skill, you’re improving yourself and you can see the improvement, it’s a very wonderful feeling,” says Van der Merwe. People who are socially awkward as well as depressed, gravitate more towards gaming because it is a good hobby one could do at home by themselves. It is also a great distraction. Van der Merwe also notes how most of the time the people who make up a large part of the culture are mostly heterosexual Caucasian males, although more recently this convention has been shifting, with more women and people of colour increasingly getting into the culture. Van der Merwe’s interest with gaming began at age seven, “When I got into gaming the first time was when I got a game board advance or a PS2 for Christmas, which was like the first sort of entry way into it,” he says. Through internet forums where information on gaming and different video games could be exchanged, gaming culture for Van der Merwe felt like he was part of something. “Being part of the game group is quite nice, because there’s people who have similar interests to you and that can really help you forge friendships.” However, despite all the positive attributions gaming has had on his life, Van der Merwe acknowledges how it has the ability to absorb a person’s life if they’re not careful and allow it to let them neglect their duties, responsibilities and surroundings.

Pictures by Simamkele George


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n recent times gaming addiction has been gaining momentum as a significant mental health disorder even as far as the World Health Organization classifying it as a mental health disorder in 2018. In Grahamstown, and indeed in many parts of the world, it receives mixed reaction as to the effects it really has. Take Jamie Rohrs, a student at Rhodes University, as an example who feels as if he experiences the pleasant and negative side of video gaming. Rohrs feels as if video games are a getaway from the stressful demands of university and he regards them as a better escape as opposed to popular student habits such as drinking and smoking excessively.Rohrs also admits that he misses out on schoolwork and social engagements because of video games however and it affects his life negatively. Video game addiction is a new phenomenon that needs to be investigated while Jamie and friends agree it should not be taken insignificantly.

Is gaming really an addiction?


Obsessed With Perfection By Zethu Hlubi “Perfection is a disease of a nation,” song lyrics to one of Beyonce’s songs. What is the public being taught to value about themselves when the world’s most influential people present their lives in plastic to us? Talent, hard work and passion are evidently what sets “stars” apart however, for a lot of celebrities this is not enough.

gone too far when the issues of self-deception, self-hatred and dysmorphia aren’t resolved.

Dysmorphia is a mental illness involving obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in appearance. People with Body Dysmorphic Disorder may spend hours trying to hide their displeasing physical features with makeup, clothing, accessories, or even try some form of do-it-yourself “surgery” to disguise the feature.

Colourism is discrimination against dark skin-toned individuals in a common ethnic or racial group. It is sad and disorderly when celebrities who are under constant evaluation and pressure to be the perfect versions of themselves conform to the likes of skin bleaching.

People with Body Dysmorphic Disorder also have unusually high suicide attempt rates. The phrase “if you don’t like something then change it” has perhaps

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South African celebrities and television personalities such as musical artist Mshoza and actress Khanyi Mbau are known for their surgical transformations, with Khanyi Mbau spending as much as R95 000 on the latest cosmetic surgery last year.

Reality star and world icon, “Kim Kardashian”, acknowledges her own dysmorphia. Obsession with certain aspects of her physique can become imaginary and

have led to anxiety attacks. Her unrest is visible in her constant adjustments to her body including her butt and her shocking recent weight loss, and all this owing partly to the way in which the public looks for the minimum detail to criticise it. Self-deception is judging yourself and believing the judgements are true, for instance repeating to oneself, “you are not attractive” or “no one will ever respect you for more than your physical anatomy.” Depression, anxiety, anger, fear, guilt and shame all result from self-deception, and from what you believe to be true rather than what actually is. If more celebrities could stop accepting the thoughts and opinions projected onto them from society as reality, more positive empowerment and compassion would be allowed to exist in the world.


“If you dont like something then change it.� -Maya Angelou

Picture by Zethu Hlubi


Escaping Addictions

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Illustration by Amahle Mtsekana


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