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

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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

Ka­belo Raphadu

Mat­sobane Mat­latse

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