Where do you fall? The indoor Netflix and chill sleeping beauty or the party monster who is always trying to recover from a hangover. Because in Kigali, you can only be one of the two. Think it’s a joke? For example, what do you do on a date in this lovely city? If it’s a romantic date, you’ll most likely go out to eat. Because, if anything, restaurants, bars, and hotels are in plentiful supply. If it’s a friends’ date, you’ve most likely gone out for drinks, gotten drunk together until late, and then gone home. Of course, that’s if you all make it safely. I was invited to a birthday party recently hosted by a friend. To my surprise, all we did was sit down, make some small talk, and then everyone drank alcohol until late. Mind you, you can’t drink Fanta for five hours straight, so I soon went home, while the others stayed up all night. This made me realise that the likes of ‘gerayo amahoro’, ‘Inzoga si iz’abato', and all other non-stop campaigns by Police are really not just for random content creation. They definitely make sense, if you judge by all the idiotic things people tend to do when they decide to have fun. Like endangering their own and others’ lives when they drink and drive. At the end of the day, alcohol has become synonymous with having a good time. If, like me, you are a 24/7 sober mind, your options are even more limited. It hits you even harder when you’re invited to a party, but when everyone else is served refreshments, you’re left alone looking like a poor beggar, left out because there are no non-alcoholic drinks. So either Rwandans are naturally dependent on alcohol and the rest of us are just a minority, or we could all benefit from more diverse activities to engage in when we want to have fun. If you browse the internet, you will find suggestions to go for a walk, run, swim, dance, sports, garden, join a film or book club, visit free museums, a zoo or wildlife reserve, and so on. And they are all doable; we have parks to see wildlife, the likes of Nyandungu Eco Tourism Park for walks, stadiums for sports, and BK Arena for concerts and a little dancing, among others. So, why do only places like Gisimenti Car Free Zone, which is primarily occupied by bars and restaurants, become the most popular? Data shows that Rwanda is second only to Uganda in terms of high alcohol consumption among EAC member countries. Experts say that many factors contribute to alcohol use, including peer pressure, the alcohol norm fuelled by alcohol promotions, escaping realities such as poverty and mental health issues, a lack of parental care, and the absence of protective environments and strong alcohol policy regulations. A question arises; despite the harm, why don’t we prohibit alcohol advertising or impose restrictions on sponsorship and other forms of promotion? Should then business be prioritised over our people’s health? Should we, as with cigarettes, emphasise the negative aspects of consumption while still selling in large quantities? In this economy, we could really do without self-imposed addictions and mental health issues.