Thursday, May 19th, 2016
LEARNING FROM OTHERS’ MISTAKES
Media personality and blogger, Shiraz Reddy, is passionate about giving back.
Although not privileged with a mentor when growing up, he has reached out to his 14-year-old nephew, Liam, as part of The South African Breweries 18+ Campaign to “be the mentor you wish you had”.
The 18+ Campaign encourages young adults to ‘be the mentor you wish you had’ and to help teens make positive life choices, including staying away from alcohol.
Shiraz said he encouraged Liam to avoid his own past mistakes.
“I view the 18+ Campaign as an effective means of educating young minds on underage alcohol consumption. It is a great opportunity to give back and give youngsters the opportunity to gain knowledge through interaction.”
Shiraz reflects on his own difficulty during his high school years and battling with identity issues. “I was the odd one out – I did not sound like anyone else, I did not look like anyone else, I did not dress in a certain way. By grade 11 most of my friends were already engaging in underage drinking and I felt pressured to fit in with the crowd.”
He describes his experience as “falling into a trap”, but is grateful that it had not happened earlier. “Education is key for the prevention of underage drinking, and this has led me to embrace the mentorship programme.”
Shiraz has encouraged Liam not to fall into the same trap. “Raaz told me that if my friends are drinking, I should just keep cool and not join them, ” said Liam.
Liam’s response is positive, “I am not curious about drinking, it is not that exciting – everyone does it, it is not that special.”
Shiraz hopes that his nephew will fully embrace all of life’s moments. “My dream for Liam is to make every moment educational and deliver to the fullest, ” he said, adding that high school days pass by so quickly.
South Africans can be part of the campaign and make a difference to someone else’s life by pledging to be a mentor at www.sab.co.za/alcohol-issues/.
To watch Shiraz’s video, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrmD2u6G6dQ.