Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Correspondent
IT was one of the not-so-good school holidays for some who had fallen to the tragedy of envisaging an adult life filled with uncontrollable excitement and at times being a victim of popularity neurosis.
Bulawayo had become the hub of vuzu parties which many feared were going to be transmitted to its spheres of influence. This is so as the events were accompanied by rowdy behaviour among teenagers who indulged in sex orgies, alcohol and drug abuse which many youths dream of.
For the first time in years heading to a long decade distress of vuzu parties, the August-September school holiday of 2019 did not only remove the immorality that had now been associated with one of the best celebrated cities in the history of Africa, but also brought smiles to parents who had lost touch with their children who once used to be the pride of society.
The ideal of behaviourism is to eliminate cruelty: to apply controls by changing the environment in such a way as to reinforce the kind of behaviour that benefits everyone thus all hail goes to the police and the teenagers who heeded the call by the force to distance themselves from such disgraceful behaviour.
As schools closed, many parents feared the then ZUPCO fares pegged at RTGS$0,50 were going to enable cheap access to town for the rowdy teenagers to host their day and night parties.
However, the teenagers stayed home on the first Saturday of the holiday and the last Saturday before schools opened for the third term.
Is it the high beer prices which have instilled the good morals? This cannot be dismissed as even adults have had to reduce their drinking.
A teenager learning at Denmark Training Services in the Central Business District (CBD) who spoke on condition of anonymity said the holidays had seen some of them who drank only on these occasions shun their past actions.
“For some of us, this was our only getaway ticket in terms of being able to drink beer, sleep away from home and enjoy with our friends.
“The death of the vuzu parties has changed the mindset of many in terms of giving full focus towards their studies and even their personal behaviour has changed as some have even gone the extra mile and stopped drinking alcohol,” she said. A boarder at Manama High School who identified himself as Proza said a number of his colleagues had anticipated fun on the first weekend of the school break but that was not to be.
“For most of us who spent three months holed up in school, we were expecting to see the parties continue but were amazed to see that the response by many teenagers is to do away with the parties,” said Proza.
A parent from Burnside where some of the vuzu parties were held, Mrs Progress Ndlovu said parent involvement against the parties may have contributed to a generally quiet school holiday in Bulawayo.
She added that as kids reach adolescence, they need parents to watch them more closely.
“Adolescence is not about letting go. It’s about hanging on during a very bumpy ride. The way Bulawayo parents have reacted to the vuzu party issues has brought success in ensuring the bad habit is done and dusted.
“It is our hope that the future generation will follow suit in ending these parties which have even resulted to deaths, addictions and unwanted pregnancies,” said Mrs. Ndlovu. — @mthabisi_mthire.