Being a driver of change in his community is what motivates Vuisile Sebusang, one of the new Local Area Managers (LAM) appointed to The South African Breweries (SAB) 18+ 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 Vuisile 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.

Vuisile says he joined the programme in the hope of making a difference in his community. “I want to motivate members in my community to become better people and more importantly for the youth to focus on their education instead of abusing alcohol”, he said.

For Vuisile, mentorship is about giving his mentee guidance, support and helping to solve problems he may face. Growing up Vuisile never had a mentor and this motivated him to join the SAB 18+ programme.

Being a mentor has taught Vuisile to be more responsible. He says he met his mentee while walking home. “We live in the same neighbourhood. I met him in the street while passing by. He was smoking and I stopped to chat to him,” said Vuisile. “I have since advised him to stop abusing alcohol, to stop smoking and to focus more on his education and school work.” But while Vuisile has been a mentor, his mentee has also taught him to be a better role model and to never discourage one other.

Like any other neighbourhood, Vuisile’s one faces the same issues of poverty and substance abuse. “At times there is no guidance from parents, there is a high rate of school drop outs and children are been raised by single parents.”

Vuisile hopes that after this programme his mentee will succeed at any challenges he may face in life and that one day the mentee, too, will give back to their community.

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.