Since the long COVID holiday’s commenced in our country, I must say that most parents have been more worried about having their children at home than being happy; reason being, while parents are busy hustling to put something on the table every day, children are at home mingling with all types of peer influences among them drug users and addicts.
The worst is that it is becoming difficult for parents to know what their children are up to as many have taken to ‘sheng’ a language whose vocabulary keeps changing hence making it hard for the oldies to engage with their young ones. It is worrying that teens and youths even go to the extent of ordering and sharing drugs right in front of their parent’s eyes without them ever noticing. Further, Phone conversations suggesting drug use go unnoticed by parents for lack of understanding sheng.
Take for instance if as a parent you come across the following phone conversation between your son and his friend ‘Oya bruh! haki jana nilikuwa nimechew blackout mbaya singemake kuja baze…’ Of -course most parents will be blank to understand what ‘kuchew blackout’ is all about and will ignore or attach wrong meanings to it not knowing that their son meant that he was drunk.
Lately, I have been interacting with my ghetto friends a lot and I have become familiar with many of sheng words including drug-related ones. I, therefore, urge parents and guardians to pay keen attention with regards to their children’s conversations in this holiday season by familiarizing themselves with some sheng words suggesting drug use.
It is worth noting that alcohol in sheng' has several names, including tei, ndogogio, mzinga and gauge. Tobacco is referred to as kuber, while bhang' which can be in the form of edibles like cookies, chocolates and cakes has the most synonyms. Weed, ndom, ndukulu, tiree, vela, kushkush and mbichwa. Cigarettes are referred to as fuaka.
Despite being busy as parents, it is important to have some time daily with the children, talk with them and even get to understand the company of friends they spend most of their time with. Do not wait until it is too late, start establishing a friendly relationship with your child now, be vigilant with regards to places your child visits, the language spoken and together let us say no to drug abuse