Recovering addict Alostro: ‘I sold my house, car and studio and slept on the streets because of nyoape’

18 June 2024 - 08:45
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Mohau 'Alostro' Lewis is taking baby steps to recovery after being addicted to drugs for about two decades.
Mohau 'Alostro' Lewis is taking baby steps to recovery after being addicted to drugs for about two decades.
Image: X/DJ Kharri/Instagram

After being hooked on drugs for about 20 years and being homeless, Mohau “Alostro” Lewis has captured the nation’s heart with his recovery journey.

Lewis was named “Alostro” after he went viral when he flopped in an SABC interview which put a spotlight on how homeless people lived in government camps during 2020’s Covid-19 lockdown in Pretoria. While the broadcaster was talking to a homeless man about their realities, Lewis interrupted , saying “you see others here, they have Alostro”. No one knew what he meant.

More viral videos of the 38 year old were captured by people with him speaking broken English in the streets of Pretoria CBD.

He has changed the tide during his recovery journey.

Lewis was enrolled at a rehabilitation centre in Limpopo in January by musician Karabo Mokgara, known as DJ Karri. 

In a recent interview, Lewis recalled how he became addicted to drugs.

“When I came to Pretoria I met people who introduced me to the drug business. We sold drugs. One day one guy asked me to taste, and I did. After taking the first hit, I felt a very nice sensation in my body, and that is how I became addicted. I was 21 years old when I started taking drugs,” he said.

Lewis became homeless after selling his belongings because of his addiction.

“I sold my four-room house in Mabopane, my van and recording studio and started sleeping on the streets.”

Life on the streets was not easy, and he said drugs damaged him physically and mentally.

“I suffered from a lot of injuries and I couldn't walk.

"I couldn’t think straight when I needed a fix. We mugged people. I spent 18 months in prison for using drugs,” he said. 

“I advise young people to stay away from drugs. Drugs are not good. They ruin lives. You end up being disrespected, and you lose your dignity. A wise person stays away from drugs.”

Mohau 'Alostro' Lewis with DJ Kharri on his first day in rehab in January.
Mohau 'Alostro' Lewis with DJ Kharri on his first day in rehab in January.
Image: DJ Kharri/ Instagram

Mokgara said when he met Lewis, his intention was to help him regain dignity.

“I saw Alostro on social media and took up the initiative. My intention was to clean him up so when people make videos of him, at least he would be clean.

“He is the one who asked me to help him change because he was tired of the life he lived,” Mokgara said.

Lewis has been at the rehabilitation centre for five months, fighting tooth and nail to reclaim his life.

He plans to start a life in music and become a plumber, a skill he learnt in rehab.

“The rehab centre is treating me very well. We are involved in different activities such as  agriculture, plumbing and Bible studies. When I get out of here, I want to change my life,” Lewis said.

Listen to the full interview here:


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