Survivor winner on his drug addiction

2011-09-12 08:59
Seugnet Esterhuyse
Pretoria - "I found God in the streets of Hillbrow and not in a church."

This is what Hykie Berg, best known for his roles in Egoli and Binnelanders and winner of the reality series Survivor SA, said on Sunday before a full congregation of the Dutch Reformed Chrurch in Rietfontein, Pretoria North.

Berg conveyed in his testimony how "God came for him and set him free".

With his motorcycle boots on, he comfortably sat on a chair next to the church's pastor, Francois Naudé, and openly talked about his drug addiction.

He belongs to the Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA) and is a member of the Bikers Church in Midrand.

Heroin addict

The last six Sundays, morning and evening, he visited churches to share his story with others. Besides his work as an actor, this is how he spends his time.

"I began experimenting with drugs in grade 8 in Die Wilgers High School (in the east of Pretoria). I became a very dodgy guy."

Berg said at age 19 he was a complete heroin addict on the streets of Hillbrow.

At 21, while in a rehabilitation centre in Cape Town, he realised what he wanted to do with his life.

"I called my father, a senior lawyer, and told him I want to go study drama."

Setback

In the three years he studied at the University of Stellenbosch, he didn't even drink a beer. He was drug free for eight years until he experienced a setback in 2007 and lost everything.

He had to sell his car, move back to his mother and work as a waiter in a restaurant in Lynnwood Road, Pretoria, to earn money.

Binnelanders as well as Survivor followed.

"After Survivor, I am even more blessed.

"Drugs will always be there, but there is more help out there now than ever before," was his advice to parents.