United against drugs

Baitshepi Sekgweng

COSBOTS/BOMU unite to fight substance abuse

Local artists have formed a united front in the fight against drugs and substance abuse.

Both Copyright Society of Botswana (COSBOTS ) and Botswana Musicians Union(BOMU) collaboratively held a mental health and anti drug and substance abuse campaign for the creative sector on Tuesday in Gaborone at Tsholofelo Community Hall.

The coalition was launched at a similar forum in Francistown on the 9th of April, which attracted various artists from across the Greater Francistown.

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Held under the theme “sobriety is talent above the influence, the campaign created awareness on the dangers of drug use as well as ways of preventing prohibited activities related to narcotics.

Addressing the artists, BOMU President Phemelo ‘Fresh’ Lesokwane said it’s imperative to collaborate to achieve a drug free creative sector.

Lesokwane said they plan to use different online platforms for exchange of ideas, and also further raise awareness through various artistic mediums to reach more artists.

He said drugs while they can provide temporary relief have long term effects and make artists desperate for money.

The BOMU President urged local creatives to prioritize their mental health, and seek professional help.

“Help is always available. You’re not alone,” said Lesokwane.

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BOMU PRESIDENT: Fresh Lesokwane

Lesokwane said it was imperative to deal with the drug problem which has destroyed many careers in the creative sector.

He hailed the forum as a welcome development which can help in breaking chains of addiction, depression and anxiety.

Marijuana and cocaine were the two drugs singled out as the most prevalent in the country.

Botswana Substance Abuse Support Network (BOSASNET) Outreach Coordinator Toro Letebele said education is critical in offering refusal skills or offering training such that artists are able to fight the scourge.

He urged the many artists in attendance pursue the trade without engaging in substance abuse.

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“Lets be relevant without drug abuse,” said Letebele.

In his testimony, a recovering addict Kgosi ‘Dollar Mac’ Kgosidintsi said at the age of 18 he had many jobs and access to money and began experimenting with drugs.

“I battled and lost jobs on the way. It’s a serious challenge which we have to face and win. Drugs are around and we all know where they are sold. We can fight this battle together and win,” said Kgosidintsi.

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