“There is this to be said in favor of drinking, that it takes the drunkard first out of society, then out of the world.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Lives both young and old have been robbed from us by the bottle, and to those who were lucky enough to save their breath are now lifeless walking bodies because they have become slaves of the bottle. Many families have been robbed of the joy of having fathers and even mothers, lost due consuming illicit brews. Some men have even lost their manhood aka “transformers” after their wives decided to chop them off due to frustration.

Where did we go astray? At current rate, I wonder whether there will be any future if something is not done immediately. It’s a tragedy; an entire nation is under the influence of alcohol, both young and old citizens enslaved by alcohol. Who will create the future? What does it hold? Will there be even one?

We have buried our heads under the sand for so long, all along assuming that the problem with alcohol was not as serious as it was. And not until recently have we started coming to terms with reality, that alcohol has become a huge problem and is consuming us at unimaginable pace. We need to find a solution soon or else the impact it have will be too hard to live with.  Since Nacada is too corrupted to give us a solution, it is up to the community, county government, national government, religious groups, and non-government institutions to join hands, put our heads together, and find a way out of this mess.

Before we can come up with any solution, we need to take a minute and reflect; where did we go wrong? How did we miss all the indicators that this would come to be a huge problem, so as to ensure that going forward we don’t make the mistakes that we did? So who messed up? Was it the parents? The schools? The Church? The community? The local government? The national government? In my opinion, I think each is equally to blame.

For instance, most parents delegated the task of parenting to house girls and teachers with the excuse of being too busy securing the future. Communities that were once so close-knit that a child was everyone’s child crumbled due to forces from different sectors to a point in which nobody cares about any kid that is not their own. Religion, which used to be a pillar of the society, got infiltrated by savages whose only interest was to enrich themselves and thus they dared not condemn any moral decay especially those that risk driving their member’s away. The national government together with local government from early on when alcohol started killing and maiming people failed to put measures in place to stop it as a result of incompetence and corruption.

It’s sad to see mothers storming alcohol dens and dragging their sons and daughters out, sad to see wives rioting on the streets because their men have been consumed by alcohol to an extent in which they cannot  fulfill their basic marital duties, and even worse, for partners to become so frustrated to the point of maiming each other. In some part of central province, it become so severe that the Member of Parliament offered to pay women to give birth, but his efforts were in vain due to lack of men capable of impregnating women. How sad is that?

All kinds of argument have been made regarding who is to blame for having a nation under influence. Some say it is our culture, other say unemployment (but it doesn’t add up since alcohol costs money), other blame it on ‘monkey see monkey do’ where we try to emulate what we see on television, and others blame Nacada for failing to uphold its mandate. But no matter whom you decide to blame, we all agree that something needs to be done or soon we will have a nation of more alcoholic citizens than sober citizens. And from experience, I can tell you that we don’t want that because once someone becomes an alcoholic, it takes a miracle for them to sober up and to stay clean.

I have no magical solution for what needs to be done, but if all of us make this our priority, then we can defeat it. The president has led the way and now it’s up to the rest of us to do our part.

Stay sober, my friend.



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