Manana said on Thursday he had been struggling to sleep for the past three days because he consumed Bioplus – an energy booster – in order to stay awake and study.
Manana is reading for a two-year BA honours degree in international politics at the University of SA (Unisa).
On Tuesday night, Manana posted a photograph on Facebook of him sitting on a chair near a table full of books with a Bioplus sachet in his hand.
The picture was captioned: “Three nights without sleep. Nobody said it will be easy.” The post generated 111 comments from other Facebook users, most of them supportive.
Manana told The Citizen he decided to use Bioplus because he didn’t have enough time to study due to the demands of his Cabinet job.
“Bioplus has helped me a lot, but I can only sleep for two hours and wake up,” said Manana.
“The job I’m doing is very demanding. I have to run the department during the day and only get a chance to study at night. My energy level becomes lower and I need an energy booster to study.”
The side-effects of Bioplus include blurred vision, headaches, dizziness and heart palpitations. With the mid-year tertiary education examinations in full swing, Manana encouraged other students to follow his example but warned them against resorting to the use of illegal substances when enhancing their energy to study.
“I usually take energy drinks and I will never use anything illegal,” he said.
“If students can’t keep up with their energy levels and feel they are under pressure, they must get medication. Studying is a life-long thing. When you study, your knowledge is widened. I have learnt a lot since I started studying.”