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We all have a responsibility I know from personal experience that a parent can’t have their eye on a child 24/7(at one point, my mum was close to building a kennel and locking me up like a dog) but realised I’d still find a way of breaking out.
Rachel Garuka
Rachel Garuka

We all have a responsibility

I know from personal experience that a parent can’t have their eye on a child 24/7(at one point, my mum was close to building a kennel and locking me up like a dog) but realised I’d still find a way of breaking out.

Around 2001, I hit quite a few joints myself, pretending to be older than I actually was. At one particular night spot in Uganda, just as the bouncer was about to let me through, the manager standing right behind him, asked me to stay back. Suspicious about my age, he asked how old I was and I said 26. When asked which year I was born... trust my math to fail me at that crucial time... I said 1982.

With a smile on his face (don’t know if he was just being polite or amused by my terrible calculation), he told me to go home and come back a couple of years later. I guess that was the right move, although I took it personal for the longest time, even when I came back, all grown up!

Clubs and bars are a business like any other, the more customers they get the better. Whereas some have the discipline of discarding underage individuals, others simply can’t be bothered. And who can blame them; they assume that if parents don’t care much about their kids, then why should they?

To really come up with effective results, WE ALL need to be responsible. Parents, bars and children! Some parents really sweat to keep their children home. They can’t be called irresponsible when these kids keep digging holes through the walls to escape. They don’t want to cage the kids either (which I think might actually work) because they are not animals. They believe in giving children a little bit of freedom which children always abuse.

Other parents think that drinking is simply part of growing up. Some believe that if their teenager is going to drink alcohol, it’s safer to drink at home. I know a guy who used to drink with his dad when he was 15. On many occasions, his dad was more comfortable chilling with him over a crate of Tusker than letting him out of the house.

A bar has the duty not to serve alcohol to minors. If the bar negligently breaches that duty, then it should be held liable.  If people have to walk around with birth certificates just to prove they are old enough to drink then so be it.

Finally, responsibility starts with an individual. These kids need to wait their turn! I know growing up sometimes seem so far away and watching others enjoy ballistic things like Amstel or Tequila is not fair but they will have plenty of time to damage their liver and kidneys after they turn 18.

 

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