Alcohol and the Youth
“Not for sale to persons under the age of 18” is a familiar warning on alcoholic beverages, but one that is often ignored to the detriment of the underage drinker. If not consumed responsibly, alcohol can be a dangerous substance as it alters one’s reflexive mechanisms, which is why driving under the influence of alcohol is also illegal.
Swaziland Beverages has conceptualised an innovative programme to communicate the serious message of alcohol responsibility in an understandable and engaging way to the country’s youth, and the response so far has been positive. The effectiveness is based largely on the fact that the intended target audience has been receptive and responsive, as was evident in the engaging and dynamic arguments the Manzini-based pupils raised during the inter-schools debate set up by Swaziland Beverages in collaboration with other partners.
The topic, “Is alcohol a social evil for school children?” showed that not only is the youth of Swaziland aware of the adverse effects of premature alcohol consumption but they were able to get through to their peers as well.
The event was recorded and aired on Swazi TV over a six-week period, reaching a larger audience countrywide and opening up other communities and schools to this important conversation.
The schools which participated were Salesian High School, Zombodze National High School, Matsapha National High School, St Michaels High School, Manzini Nazarene High School and Hillside High School.