“I don't regret going through drug addiction as I now appreciate life more.”
So says former Jag band member Mono Dullisear, 37, who has decided to open up about his addiction and failed music career.
“Life has handed me quite a few curve balls and a lot has happened since Jag broke up around 2008,” he tells the Daily Voice.
Mono was part of Cape Town’s favourite boy band about 20 years ago, along with Emo and Loukmaan Adams, and their friends Sury Boltman and Nur Abrahams.
Mono was famous for his Judy Boucher impersonations and later also featured in musical productions including Brother Love 2, Where The Boys Are, and Emo’s 30th Anniversary in Music.
In 2009, Mono married his wife, Tracey, in a beautiful garden ceremony.
But a heavily pregnant Tracey divorced Mono just two months later after “a big argument”.
“I don’t want to get into that, but I was never allowed to be part of my daughter’s life afterwards.
“My daughter is 10 years old now and I last saw her when she was three,” says a hartseer Mono.
While his friends went on to carve out successful careers in the entertainment industry, Mono says he fell by the wayside.
But he says his drug addiction started long before he joined Jag.
He blames it on peer pressure while growing up in Mitchells Plain.
“Drug addiction has been part of my life since I was 12,” he says.
“I always needed drugs to be a better performer, being high gave me confidence.
“There’s no drugs I didn’t do, I did everything, rocks, cocaine, dagga, tik, alles.”
But depression hit him hard after Jag broke up and he sunk into addiction.
“I never thought I’d see the day we break up. I saw a future with those gents,” he admits.
“We used to do everything together, movies, chill, outings my life revolved around them and today they are all well off and happy with their families and I’m just here.”
He decided to leave Cape Town about five years ago, and these days works as a farm labourer.
“I am living and working comfortably on a fruit and vegetable farm in Ceres. I enjoy the farm life, I don’t even visit my family in Mitchells Plain anymore because it’s too much of a temptation (to go back to drugs).”
Mono says being sober for the past two years feels “strange and foreign”.
“I’ve never gone to rehab, over the years I just decided to stop using, and these past two years have been the longest that I’ve been clean.
“I have one wish and that’s to see my only daughter again, I just want to be a part of her life, I want her to know that I’m still here and I miss her.”
Now, after 10 years, Mono is back on stage in a show called Soulful Men at the Joseph Stone Auditorium, from 30 August to 1 September, alongside Loukmaan, Keanu Harker and Fagrie.
“It’s going to be a bit different being sober now, but I will try to bring the same energy,” he says.