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SAB asks young South Africans to ‘be the mentor you wish you’d had’

Be an inspiration to the younger generation.

The South African Breweries (SAB) is encouraging young adults to “Be the mentor you wish you’d had” as part of the 18+ campaign to prevent underage drinking.

SAB hopes to inspire a movement of change with the mentors across the country pledging to accept responsibility for educating a younger friend or relative about choices and their consequences.

Monwabisi Fandeso, SAB’s executive director of corporate affairs and transformation, said statistics indicated that one out of every two teenagers in the average South African home has used alcohol.

“With both long and short-term harmful consequences resulting from underage drinking, we view this as unacceptable. SAB has, therefore, been committed to addressing this problem for a number of years already and this new 18+ campaign is our latest bold step towards combatting underage drinking,” he said.

One hundred and fifty South Africans from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town aged between 23 and 30 years have been appointed to champion the cause and rally other South Africans to rise to the challenge of being a mentor.

Rather than being celebrities, the chosen champions are ordinary men and women working in diverse fields from political science, finance and entertainment to human resources and advertising.

These young adults will share their stories of the mistakes they made in their teenage years and the advice they are now able to share with their younger mentees.

The 18+ Be the Mentor campaign which recently launched with a hard hitting TV commercial, is targeted at young adults as this group is unencumbered with the generational issues that parents or teachers have and, therefore, have greater influence over underage youths.

“Teenagers need role models and mentors who set positive examples for them to follow and who offer inspiration and guidance,” said Pepe Marais, chief creative officer at Joe Public, the agency responsible for the production of the campaign.

Social entrepreneur and 18+ campaign mentor, Katlego Ditwana, said she was lucky to grow up surrounded by family and friends who often gave good advice.

“When I think of all the crazy and stupid things my mates and I got up to when we were kids, I wonder how different my life would have been if we’d taken that step too far or gone down the wrong path. Having relatives and family to guide me helped set me on the path I’m on today,” she said.

Instant Grass Marketing appointed the 150 mentors and will oversee their duties of rallying community engagement.

“We want them be active on their social networks, both digital and otherwise, and share stories of how they have influenced their younger peers and siblings,” said Instant Grass project manager, Sibongile Bean.

“South Africans are encouraged to go to www.sabstories.co.za/alcohol-issues/ to take the pledge, download the guides, take on a mentor role and make a difference in someone’s life,” Fandeso said.

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