Eastern Cape born, award winning actor, Chumani Pan, has become the campaign ambassador for a province wide Anti-Alcohol Abuse Campaign (AAAC) that is targeting the four universities of the Eastern Cape (University of Forte Hare, Rhodes University, Walter Sisulu University and Nelson Mandela University). The campaign has been running for the last 3 months and is being implemented by a local organisation called Dantonetix, which is a youth focused organisation that runs uplifting programs and campaigns for young people who find themselves in troubled waters. The campaign, which is funded by the Eastern Cape Liquor Board, seeks to shed light on the dangers and hazardous effects of alcohol abuse on the minds and behavioural patterns of young people.
Pan sees himself as one with the campaign as it speaks to his own personal aims of assisting young people in overcoming some of their challenges. “Recently I was approached to be part of a wonderful initiative that seeks to spread the word on the dangers of alcohol abuse to young students. I felt that this is a necessary initiative to get involved in as it tackles the issues affecting the youth. I hope that my involvement can assist in attracting the attention that projects of this nature deserve. ” he said.
The campaign comes in the midst of various incidents that have happened within the tertiary space this year. Some, if not most, of these incidents have been attributed to substantial drinking and alcohol abuse. “We have a serious problem in the Eastern Cape, of young people becoming heavily dependant on alcohol and as a result they end up ruining their lives because of it. It is even sadder when these youths are still at varsity. That is why it is imperative that we do as much as we can to try and assist young people in overcoming this particular challenge,” said Mr Mgwebi Msiya of the Eastern Cape Liquor Board.
Khanyi Ncana, the director of Dantonetix, feels that the campaign is an essential stride in providing support for those that are most in need of what the program offers. “We want to ensure that we equip students with important information that will assist them in making better informed choices the next time they wish to entertain themselves with alcoholic beverages. This in turn will assist us in limiting the amount of young people that find their lives forever changed through consequences that have arisen from the abuse of alcohol,” she said.
The campaign is already in full swing and is scheduled to continue for a minimum of three years. Some of the students in these institutions will have probably seen the banners, brochures and off course the celebrity face. It is our collective hope as an entire community that the message carried by this campaign makes the major difference that it seeks to.