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Following reports of 21 teenagers who died while dancing at an ungodly hour in a tavern in South Africa(SA) I would like to urge Emaswati to take steps to prevent such a mishap occurring in Eswatini.
Firstly, parents should monitor their children and educate them about the dangers of alcohol and spending nights in alcohol outlets. The draw card for these night spots is usually the entertainment in the form of big artists coming all the way fromSA of whatever country it may be. Traditionally, families used to set and enforce curfews to protect children from the dangers of the night. With the prevailing atmosphere of violence such curfews should be enforced now more than ever. Children need to be kept busy at home and parents should provide adequate entertainment, which will eliminate the temptation for children to venture into the night. Parents also need to watch for early signs of wayward behaviour such as a whiff of alcohol fumes or cigarette smell or association with bad wayward friends. One sip of beer and one puff of a cigarette can ruin a child’s entire life.    
Secondly, children themselves need to take care of themselves and their friends. Peer pressure always plays a big role in their lives and therefore they need to choose their friends carefully. Technology in the form of internet and smartphones exposes children to a diverse world of good and unfortunately also bad ways of life.

The young ones need to make concrete decisions about their future and work towards those goals. If you want to be a doctor or an engineer why start   destroying your brain cells with alcohol and smoking all sorts of drugs including nicotine and dagga at the age of 16?
By the time you leave school, if you are unfortunate enough not to drop out, when the time has come to enroll into university, your brain will have depreciated to the such levels that you cannot cope with Physics 101 or Chemistry 101 or all those university. Being active in church can be fashionable these days and youth need to maximise this advantage, join the praise team, play the keyboard and drums and chart with like-minded christian friends.

Some churches even offer mentors for career guidance, financial support and even clean fun. Thirdly, the Liquor Licencing Board, municipal authorities and all other alcohol outlet regulators need to up their game in monitoring age restrictions and operating hours. Visit locations like Msunduza, Mahhwalala, Sidwashini and others at midnight and count the number of under aged children loitering up and about and tell me where this country is heading to.

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