Tshepo Makopane is a recovering drug addict who sells words for a living, he walks the streets of Johannesburg rapping to strangers for money.
Makopane goes by the stage name “AddWord”, and his talents were brought to the attention of 702 by the video below shot by EWN Digital Producer, Phumlani Pikoli.
He joined Xolani in studio to share his hectic life story, where he explained how getting involved with drugs and a series of poor decisions landed him on the street.
I used drugs for a period of over 2 years and during that time I spoiled the family trust [in me]. I was working when I got onto drugs so when I lose money from using drugs to go to work I’d steal stuff – I found myself out of a job because of the habit …— Tshepo "AddWord" Makopane
Makopane explains in detail what happened after that, and how he has managed to get clean since then.
What I’ve learned is that it’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes than your own sometimes— Tshepo "AddWord" Makopane
Listen to the full interview and the story of Makopane’s rise with Xolani Gwala below:
Makopane’s brother, Teboho Makopane came across a social media post by 702 about Xolani’s interview with Tshepo and called in to give the family’s perspective of what they went through sending Tshepo back to rehab countless times before he ended up on the streets.
Taking Tshepo to rehab has been very difficult, I think he does have a clear indication that he wants to quit but we don’t know … It’s a very difficult issue to have a family member hooked on drugs— Teboho Makopane, AddWord's brother
Listen to Teboho Makopane’s conversation with Xolani below: