The tik generation is enrolling into school ten years after the drug (crystal methamphetamine) hit the streets of South Africa. Children born from mothers who abused the substance during pregnancy are now living with side effects characterised by those similar to foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), but far worse. In some classrooms in the Cape Flats up to half of the students show symptoms of FAS/foetal-tik symptoms, namely brain damage, facial deformities and growth defects.

This is the beginning of a grim future if the tik epidemic is not resolved. It is also the product of a massive social issue that we are facing today. Tik users lose their inhibition and experience an increase in libido, making them more susceptible to promiscuous and unprotected sex. An increase in HIV has been detected amongst tik users. Tik has also been linked to violent and unpredictable behaviour relating to increased numbers in violent crime and rape. The large number of children being born with foetal-tik symptoms is a small indicator of how serious tik addiction is.

Tikkop’s son is a stillborn foetus from a woman who smoked tik through her pregnancy. He symbolizes the fight against the epidemic of tik addiction, the effect addiction has on the youth of the nation, as well as those related to addicts. He stands as testament to how this drug is fracturing our society, but in the act of standing when he is clearly beaten, he is also a symbol of hope and not giving up on this struggle.