Jacobsdal resident Wendy Metsimetsi’s passion for “education and making a difference” encouraged her to join The South African Breweries 18+ Be the Mentor campaign.

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.

In June 2017, SAB upweighted the 18+ pilot programme and the new approach uses past mentors as inspiration for new mentors.

The pilot campaign made use of approximately 200 mentors (young influencers) from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, which has been increased to more than 500 volunteer mentors across five provinces – KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Western Cape, Limpopo and the Free State. The revised campaign has the potential to reach at least 1000 teenagers.

SAB has also employed 10 Local Area Managers (LAMs) to help train and support these mentors and this is where Wendy fits in.

The evolved campaign seeks to build on the successful impact of the pilot programme:

  • Being a mentor is about having a positive influence on a young person and helping guide them through the challenges presented by everyday life.
  • This could involve giving someone advice, talking about how to avoid peer pressure, sharing your own experiences and mistakes you wish you had not made and how you managed them, or getting them to understand why they should not drink before they are 18.

Throughout her school career, Wendy was involved in educational programs such as the “Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Programme”. This inspired her to join the SAB 18+ campaign as it focused on the issue at a “broader spectrum”.

“My community is faced with the challenge of underage drinking among teenagers and I enjoy playing a part in creating a change in Jacobsdal,” she said.

Wendy takes mentoring seriously as she believes it means “to guide and practice what one preaches” on a daily basis, but to also use one’s time wisely by “mentoring the next individual”. “My late mother played a significant role in my life as a child and provided support and guidance throughout my childhood.”

At school, Wendy became a youth facilitator. “Through this role, I saw how learners were improving in their academic fields.” By being a mentor, Wendy has seen how she has “made more responsible decisions by dedicating my life to helping others.”

Through her community, Wendy met one of her mentees who was struggling, but with her help, support and guidance was able to help in to turn his life around and start playing soccer again.

Being addicted to drugs, abusing alcohol and suffering peer pressure are only a few of the issues children from this community face on a regular basis. “Similarly, these kids are faced with the pressures of having cellphones, the latest brand of clothing and footwear as well as taking lunch to school. Sadly, not all parents are able to afford this.”

Wendy grew up with a hard-working mother who was often away from home. This frequently led to her sneaking out and going to clubs. “My dream is to see my mentees become successful and not get side tracked in life.” Wendy keeps her mentees busy with fun and interesting activities as she believes underage drinking is a negative influence.

SAB believes everyone can be part of the change. The 18+ Be the Mentor campaign is about starting a movement which calls on everyone over the age of 18 in South Africa to take that first step and become a mentor – ‘Be Part of the Change’.

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.bethementor.sab.co.za.

ENDS

www.sab.co.za

Issued by Corporate Image on behalf of the South African Breweries


NOTES TO EDITORS 

About 18+ “be the mentor you wish you had”

In November 2015, SAB launched a new advertising campaign as part of the 18+ campaign, calling on young adults to ‘be the mentor you wish you had’.

Up to June 2017, the pilot programme had over 200 South Africans from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town aged between 23 and 30 years old that were appointed to champion the cause and rally other South Africans to rise to the challenge of being a mentor.

From June 2017, 18+ has been upweighted, increasing the reach and number of mentors and mentees active in the programme.

The chosen champions remain ordinary men and women working in diverse fields from political science, finance, entertainment, HR and advertising. These young adults share their stories of the mistakes they made in their teenage years and the advice they are now be able to share with their younger mentees.

Within the new campaign, Instant Grass Marketing has appointed more than 500 mentors and is overseeing their duties of rallying community engagement.

Instant Grass manages and represents communities of the most connected, informed and influential young people across the African continent. The company has sourced the mentors for the 18+ campaign.

The mentors are also active on their social networks, on and offline, sharing stories of how they have influenced their younger peers and siblings.