The Sunday News
Rumbidzai Mhlanga, Sunday Life Reporter
MANY people turn to alcohol and drugs to escape painful memories and depression.
It is behind that background that Nonhlanhla Moyo and her husband Pastor Kilton Moyo formed an organisation called Citizen Africa Foundation which focuses on transforming, building and strengthening family relationships.
“We do holistic family counselling and coaching thus we interact with many people facing different challenges. Counselling is pastoral too and it helps us to reach out to many people, both in the church and outside. I am a trained counsellor while my husband is a theologian who specialised in Christian counselling,” said Mrs Moyo.
She said one of the major reasons why people resort to alcohol was to use it as a depressant, especially for men.
“One of the issues affecting families these days is the economic situation where fathers cannot provide for their families. Well, many are trying but many are desperate and stressed. To deal with their stress some are resorting to alcohol and drugs. Some who never were drinking before find themselves caught up in this trap.
“There is a traditional belief that when you get drunk you forget your problems; this is the thinking of many people who are trapped in situations and desire a way out. Some feel they are better off drunk to escape the pain of failing to provide and such scenarios are a deception and unfortunate,” she said.
Pastor Kilton Moyo said while men drown themselves in alcohol, women and children become victims of their actions while drunk.
“When a man is incapacitated by any means to a point where he cannot provide for his family, he loses his confidence in himself. He takes it as a failure and indictment against his manhood. Therefore, resorting to such dangerous habits is both an expression of their anger and a cry for help. This is the reason we would want to help not only by counsel but also by availing some provisions to the most desperate cases.
“I always say this that in any situation, no matter how bad, a father should protect his family but a drunk father becomes a liability to the family economically and even morally. Women and children are victims in such cases, there are issues of domestic violence as probably instead of using the little money there is in the house the man will spend it on alcohol, this leads to fights and more stress on the women.
“In short, women are abused emotionally and physically. They are stressed and depressed, they live in fear of losing their families and their marriages if the men don’t sober up. They respond to the behaviour with anger and dismay. Most of them feel like they are losing it and therefore give up,” he said.
He said they always try to make sure that couples fix their issues, but building a successful marriage is a choice that people make.
“On a Christian perspective God hates divorce but then we are dealing with both Christians and non-Christians and for some divorce is an option. But when counselling them we stress out the point that divorce is not an option and that suicide is not a solution to anything, instead it just worsens circumstances. At the end of the day it is not about counselling but choices. It takes a united couple to build a successful marriage. If that unity is compromised then nothing holds them together.”