This recovering drug addict says he is claiming back the lives of vulnerable youth through art.
Tasriek Williams, 25, from Hanover Park is currently teaching Drama and Poetry at Mount View High School.
Tasriek has already written his own book and poems, in which he tells the story of his life.
He was an academic achiever and top athlete at Groenvlei High School. But in 2008, after he matriculated, he started using drugs.
“It was 2009, I was an unemployed young man frustrated by poverty and circumstances. I tried tik with friends and became hooked in that year,” he admits.
“As time progressed, my tik habits became worse and I was put out of my family home.
“I slept on the streets and stairs in the courts. I begged door to door… the same Tasriek who made his family proud was now down in the gutter.
“My mom died in 2011; this shook me and made me stop drugging for a few months, but by 2012 I was back on drugs as nothing came right for me.”
He finally saw the light in 2013 and went into rehab.
“I wasn’t going to let unemployment be the reason for my downfalls, I got up and dusted myself off,” he says.
In 2014, he received a bursary from Hanover Park Ward Councillor Antonio van Reenen to study Sports Management.
“I couldn’t believe I was given this opportunity, that someone believed in me,” says Tasriek.
He grabbed the opportunity and in 2015 he started working at the school as a Sports Facilitator, but now teaches Drama and Poetry.
He converted to Christianity, which unsettled his family.
“I was Muslim and then embraced Christianity, this upset my family but when I prayed for sick relatives and they were healed, my family started accepting me again,” he says.
Now in 2017, he wants to publish his book called A Coloured Boy’s Dream — Strive Beyond Boundaries, but lacks the funds.
Tasriek is performing his first solo poetry event at Caradale Primary School in Mitchells Plain on Saturday 8 July at 3pm.
Mount View High School drama class and the Hanover Park Youth Forum Band will also be on stage.