By Joyce Mukucha
The Youth Against Alcohol and Drug Dependency (YADD) joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Alcohol Free Day as it seeks to create heathy alternatives to substance abuse amongst young people in Zimbabwe.
Speaking during the commemorations in Harare on the 3rd of October 2019, the YADD Executive Director, Tungamirai Zimonte said the day was important as it marks the celebrations of alcohol free choices and seeks to promote sober lifestyles and smash the alcohol norm as people were now normalising drinking by making it seem fun and cool.
He said the main thrust was trying to explode the alcohol norm by urging youths to sober up following the fact that there were a lot of alcohol advertisements targeting young people.
“Today is World-Alcohol Free Day. We are not providing alcohol but then we are encouraging for alcohol free drinks which are naturally made like the Nutritious Tartar made by baobab. This is the day that has been around as a global movement of people celebrating an alcohol free lifestyle. It can be for night, for a weekend, a month, an entire year or a lifetime. It’s about the freedom to choose from an intoxicating abusive alcohol norm. The freedom to live, party and enjoy exactly like we chose to without pressure from the alcohol industry. Our aim is to protect the health of young people in our country,” said Zimonte.
He pointed out that this was the first time the celebrations were being held in Zimbabwe and they were hoping that the event will be growing bigger and better as the organisation moves forward. The organisation has registered positive results in its campaign against alcohol consumption especially among the youths.
Kasimu Sanudi, the Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Muslim Youth Organisation (ZMYO), an organisation which mainly focuses on youth empowerment ,said relating to the World Alcohol Free Day, his organisation’s stance when it comes to youths was zero tolerance to drug abuse.
YAAD was formed around 2006 and got legally registered in 2010. Other nations that include Poland, Norway, Sri Lanka, Lesotho amongst others around the world also celebrated the day.