According to statics which were published on SABC News in 2020, 7% of South Africans were addicted to drugs and by 2023 it has increased to 15%. What’s amusing is that a part of this percentage under drug addiction, are well known people such as celebrities and public figures. Some of these famous people who were under substance abuse came clean about their journey to sobriety. Which is very inspirational to other South Africans who are still under substance abuse.
Number 1, Kelly Khumalo
Kelly Khumalo’s career in the spotlight spans over 18 years. It is simple to forget how the singer and composer overcame drug addiction to become one of the most well-known musicians of our day because of all the media attention she has received.
She participated in Sizwe Dhlomo’s Behind the Story: Kelly Khumalo exclusive interview in 2016. Kelly admitted to using drugs during the show for the first time, even admitting to using pot at church.
Number 2, Kabelo Mabalane
Award winning kwaito star, actor and author, Kabelo Mabalane of TKZee fame, came out about how he struggled with substance and drug addiction in a SABC television show Kick it. Mabalane was honest about his drug addiction, which started with alcohol and marijuana and then cocaine. His addiction was so bad he once went on a binge, snorting cocaine for four days. The binge saw him being rushed to hospital by his friends and his life was saved.
The star has been free from drug abuse for more two decades now and he is grateful and celebrates overcoming his demons. He is now any inspiration. 
Number 3, DJ Sox
Another stunner was learning that DJ Sox formerly struggled with drug addiction.
In 2015, Mbuso Sokhela, a DJ and producer, opened out to Move Magazine about his sober journey.
He stated to the publication at the time that he had been an addict in recovery for four years.
The famous DJ then started spreading the word about the perils of drug abuse and rekindled some connections that he had lost due to the drugs.
Number 4, Zahara
The Loliwe hit maker, Zahara, is one of those celebs who had a problem with substance abuse. Her addiction was not that of drugs but alcohol which she denied several times telling her fans to focus on her music not her personal life.
Though she denied the allegations of alcohol abuse, it was a problem she needed help from since she was hospitalized in December 2019 with liver disease, which was worsened by heavy drinking.
She was diagnosed with liver failure and warned by the doctors that, “if she continues drinking, she is going to die”, said her older sister Nomonde. There are no reports that shows she once overcame her addiction to alcohol but since it was fatal, she probably conquered. 
Number 5 Riky Rick
Rikhado ‘Riky Rick’ Makhado who passed away on February 23, 2022 after committing suicide used to struggle with drug abuse. He opened up in 2015 about being addicted to drugs in the past, he said that it wasn’t easy to talk about but he did it to inspire others who might be addicted as well.
In March 2022, his family confirmed that Riky Rick was really struggling with substance abuse such as alcohol and other drugs. Before his passing, Riky Rick, born Rikhado Makhado, had been vocal about his struggles with depression and anxiety, factors that were somewhat fuelled by the pressures of being in the music industry. This might have been the cause of his substance abuse, possibly the cause of his suicide.
But the good thing is Riky Rick helped another rapper to overcome substance abuse but before we check who the rapper is please subscribe to our channel, hit the like button and notification bell.
number 6, the rapper who Riky Rick rescued from drug abuse whose name is Tshego
Tshegofatso Ketshabile, RnB and hip hop singer professionally known as Tshego revealed that he was a full-blown drug addict when he made his 2016 hit song Hennessy.
The No Ties hitmaker lifted the lid on his past mistakes, stating on Twitter how the song helped him see taking drugs didn’t no longer made sense.
He also gave gratitude and credit for stopping drug abuse, to Riky Rick and his sister. This happened when they collaborated in a song which Tshego made a beat and Riky Rick noticed that Tshego had an addiction and adviced that he gets help.
Number 7 PJ Powers
Internationally renowned PJ Powers was blunt, frank and to the point during her drug and alcohol abuse talk at an event hosted by Khulisa at the Golden Palm Hall in Palmview in 2017. The star who is known for singing the hit song Jabulani was opening to her audience of addicts about her past in drug and alcohol abuse despite her fame. She revealed how she was hospitalized because of substance abuse and her sister was asking the doctor if she was going to make it. The doctor’s reply was not full of optimism as he replied by saying he didn’t know if she was going to make it.
Number 8, Vusi Nova
The news that music legend Vusi Nove had allegedly wasted R5 million over the course of 10 months, the majority of which was spent on drugs, shocked the country in 2016.
When his mother passed away, he received the money as an inheritance.
Later, when the rumors were confirmed to be real, the singer said: “I wanted to warn others to be alert and avoid falling into the same trap. I’m not proud of it because it was stupid of me. I want it to serve as a lesson for others because of this.
Number 9, Trevor Gumbi
It is no secret that Trevor Gumbi’s road with his addiction has been protracted and difficult. The comedian has always been honest about his struggle with addiction and desire to put drugs in the past. But when he recently revealed that he wanted to stop drinking, many of us were taken aback.
Gumbi started using cocaine in 2000 and after a long battle with addiction, is now living a clean life. He has talked openly about his struggle in the past. During an interview with Vuzu in 2015 he said, “I can enjoy my kids. My mind is clearer, I can remember things and damn, it’s awesome, man”. He credits comedy and his family with helping him overcome his addiction. 
Number 10, Mobi Dixon
37-year-old Mabi Ntuli’s story is one of true inspiration. Known by stage name, Mobi Dixon, the DJ and house music producer kicked his addiction in 2011. The man behind the smash hit, City Rains<span;> has been open about how his addiction almost cost him his music career.
But thanks to rehab, the star is now sober and rocking dancefloors across Mzansi.
Number 11, Hugh Masekela
The late Legendary Jazz musician, Bra Hugh Masekela rocked the nation in the late 90s and early 2000s when he shared details of his drug and alcohol addiction.
After having been an addict for many years, Bra Hugh told the media back in 2001 that he had to quit because he realized that addiction had become a “respectable culture” in Mzansi.
The late icon won his battle with the addiction and went on to start a rehab programme, helping other performers to stop abusing substances.
Number 12 Nina Hastie
Nina Hastie, a well-known South African comedian who is now a television and radio broadcaster, has an extraordinary life story. Nina has struggled with drug and alcohol abuse, mental health issues, and emotional wounds from being raped when she was a young girl.
Now that she has overcome everything, this tremendous force of a woman has been speaking out in an effort to inspire other young ladies in similar circumstances.