On a verge of collapsing into tears, Jabu Mahlangu, looked back on the road less traveled, as he spoke fondly about his departed parents.
The former Kaizer Chiefs, SuperSport and Dikwena player was giving a key note address at the launch of Young, Free and Educated (YFE) campaign at the historical Nelson Mandela Memory Center in Houghton, today.
Jabu and other two well know figures DJ Oskido and Ukhozi FM presenter Chilli M, were unveiled as project ambassadors for three-years, to the packed audience.
YFE has partnered with other organizations to educate youth’s particularly at varsities, colleges and FET’s on the abuse and irresponsible drinking of alcohol.
“Everything for me was perfect until I began taking alcohol at the age of 11,” says Jabu, much to the amazement from the guests.
“My departed parents, whom unfortunately used to binge, had an influence, unbeknown to me that I would be hooked to alcohol like drugs.
The reason I’m teary is because I wanted them (parents) to see my achievements and how I’m now responsible for my family, whom I almost lost due to my wayward behavior, he says.
“With this in mind, our’s will be to engage, probe and advise were possible what we went through with the students,” quipped “Ngwana wa Tshwenya” as he was known during his troublesome days.
Jabu, who will celebrate his birthday on July 11 with less privileged in Daveyton, admitted he has repented and have been sober one year and six months.
In conclusion he said:” The day uTata Mandela passed-on that’s the day I surrended my life to God. I would like to leave my own legacy just like that stalwart (Madiba).”
As the face of the project, the three-some will visit varsities, colleges and FET’s nationally to conscientious students on the effect alcohol has when abused.
Oskido, in his trademark cap made no bones about the fact that he does drink but responsibly. “I don’t want media to report that I said I don’t drink yet the following day my face is all over the news with alcohol. I do with extra care.”
He shared the saddest scenario when he said 90% of artists die or died due to abuse of alcohol. He also made it clear that the late Brenda Fassie often used drugs in his presence.
“These and others are some of the things we’re going to share with our brothers and sisters during our tours.”
The recovering addict and Ukhozi FM presenter Chilli M says, he has been in the rehab after being addicted for the past 17 years.
Kurt Moore CEO at SALBA says they will fight the scourge of alcohol abuse at all cost because it has wrecked families and they don’t want it to destroy the future leaders of this country.
ARA COO Monica Sempe, in her remarks noted that the partnership would help to drive the message home to youth’s that alcohol does kill and can destroy one’s future hence the appointment of those who have experienced it.
YFE has partnered with ARA, RMTC, Nelson Mandela Foundation and SAUS.
For more information go to: www.yfe.co.za