The on going Sinigurisha campaign recently came up with new billboards. They show parents trying to sell off their children to sugar daddies or sugar mummies. Children countrywide are encouraged to fight against such sick tendencies because the price of this sell off often turns out to be fatal for the young ones.
The campaign that aims to fight against the practice and dangers of cross generational support should be supported not just because it is a government programme but more importantly because the future of the country is vested in the young people.
They are a crucial resource and are expected to inherit the country and take it to another level as far as development and welfare are concerned. This goal cannot be achieved if the young are getting early pregnancies or contracting deadly diseases.
The duty to ensure that our young generation matures into a useful lot rests on all of us and there should never be room for complacency in doing this job. As our policy makers do their best to protect the young people from cross generational sex.
The same zeal should apply to vices like the consumption of alcohol by underage children.
Alcohol dealers have a responsibility to ensure that it does not end up in the hands of minors. Right now there is a trade exposition at Gikondo, Kigali and many school going children love to visit this place. Many of them are delighted more by the fact that this time it happened while they were on holiday.
One of the attractions at the show for the youths is the entertainment by the major beverage companies particularly BRALIRWA and East African Breweries.
There is often a makeshift stage on top of truck where a DJ plays loud music and dancers perform for the crowds as the MC reminds them to buy their products.
For some reason, children always seem to be very many in the audiences yet the message is meant for adults only. There is now easy way for us to blame these companies since they do not have control on who should attend their entertainment.
However they should be able to control those who come onto the stage. I have seen a few young children hoping onto the stage to dance.
In case the beverage companies may not be aware, this scenario creates only a bad image for the company. Just picture a 14 year old dancing in front of Uganda Waragi or Primus beer banners yet the law forbids such people from consuming alcohol.
These companies should be more responsible especially when it comes to their brand image.
In a related development, I wish to commend the management of Nakumatt supermarket for putting bold notices at each counter reading, ALCOHOL NOT SOLD TO CUSTOMERS UNDER 18YRS.
PLEASE SHOW YOUR IDs FOR VERIFICATION. This notice became necessary especially after many young people were flocking to the store on weekends to buy alcohol thanks to the place’s 24 hour policy.
I think the government should force all other alcohol dealers to have such notices at their stores. They all have a responsibility to protect the young generation and therefore should really desist from selling to them any alcoholic product.
The same should apply to the sale of tobacco. This however is much more difficult to deal with since some adults are in the habit of sending their children to the shops to buy for them cigarettes.
Responsible parents have got a duty to keep an eye on their children so that they do not indulge in harmful practices while on holiday.
Lastly, schools are expected to open next week for the third term. Thos term is really the most important and therefore teachers and students ought to show up on time to resume serious work.
Those preparing for national examinations should be ready to put final touches to preparations for the exams they will sit in November.Follow https://twitter.com/ssojo81