Peer pressure and fitting in
City Press spoke to two young people who started drinking before they were 21 years old. There is no single age group of people more affected by alcohol and drugs than young people, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence ‘Ads
Kabelo Raphadu years old.
He always watched his brothers drinking alcohol and wondered how it tasted. He also admired the joyful atmosphere that came with their drinking sprees.
One day, while his brothers were away, he found an opened beer bottle in the fridge and took a sip. It wasn’t a pleasant taste, but that didn’t stop him from going for more. That was the start of a habit that he still battles with.
Now 27, Raphadu says he barely binges on alcohol the way he did in his teens. He also favours cider instead of beer.
“I now drink Hunters Dry because of its flavour; it has a hint of apple.”
Raphadu admits that advertisements attracted and somehow influenced him to choose to drink his cider brand.
“Seeing people chilling on the beach and having a good time with a deejay on the decks – that’s the life most of us young people wish for. When you drink cider, you imagine yourself with friends doing the same thing,” he said. took his first sip of alcohol when he was 11 Matsobane Matlatse was in his early teens when he started drinking. He says he was influenced by his peers who said: “If you don’t drink, you’re not cool.” At first he resisted, but later buckled under pressure. Matlatse (24) says it was about “fitting in”. “I spent time with a group of friends during my gap year. They drank alcohol often and would say if I didn’t drink alcohol, I was not part of the crew.” After taking a gap year, Matlatse enrolled at the University of Limpopo where he became involved in a campus ministry. This helped him to ease on the drinking habit. “For me, it was peer pressure. We used to hang together a lot in our teenage years,” he recalls, adding that it became a fertile ground for mischief and experimenting with alcohol. However, his favourite alcoholic drink was inspired by an advert aired when “Real Madrid won the Uefa Champions League in 2014, where Heineken was the sponsor. I fell in love with it there and then,” Matlatse said.
– Phuti Mathobela
SPACE AGE Are young people influenced easily by adverts such as this one to experiment with alcohol?Booze