It appears we are a thirsty nation. Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) recently reported that they sold over 70.7 million litres of alcohol in the first six months of the year!
In light of this startling stat, The Voice’s Christinah Motlhabane took to the streets of Francistown to find out why Batswana are drinking so much.
MOHAMBI SAULOS (53)
Families have lost the social fibre. In the past, children were raised by both parents with strict dos and don’ts.
Nowadays most families are single parent families and it is not easy to raise children alone.
They end up leaving home to go out drinking with friends. As I mentioned, we have lost our cultural fibre; we used to know that children are for everyone, when the father is not there the uncle takes over.
But these days everyone minds their own business.
The other thing leading to alcohol consumption is unhappiness.
The high level of unemployment makes people resort to alcohol to find solace.
Botswana doesn’t have support structures that provide counselling. So when one is stressed they drink to forget about whatever is disturbing them.
Even those going through abuse, they don’t know where to go, they see alcohol as the solution.
That is why murder cases are escalating because people are depressed, they don’t know where to seek help and end up killing others brutally.
KELEBOGILE RABOIJANE (30)
I do not drink alcohol but what makes Batswana drink so much is the change in opening times of bars and clubs.
Clubs now stay open until six in the morning and bars close at midnight. Unemployment is also a leading factor in the country’s alcohol consumption.
Road accidents are a result of alcohol. Even HIV Aids is high because of alcohol!
LUCKY NKHURUTSHI (31)
Batswana have a lot of problems so by drinking they are trying to forget them.
They have financial problems, family affairs and then they lack counselling and in the end they go for alcohol.
The other thing is Botswana is boring! There are no places to relax and enjoy.
We find bars as the only place where one can be happy and forget their stress. Counselling in Botswana is very limited so we get it from drinking.
JANE RAFELE (50)
Batswana like alcohol, period. This is because alcohol is cheap.
And I think even if the prices were increased, they would rather suffer without food and clothes to buy alcohol.
It is in their blood that they like alcohol.
We do not have entertainment places in Botswana that can keep us busy and happy.
Our entertainment is to go out with friends, get drunk, be happy, harass people and look for women.
Being seen drinking has that ‘vavavoom’ effect and gets you female attention.
They think you have money. So a lot of men drink just to get noticed!