KAMPALA – Patrick Nuwe Tuhaire, a student at Makerere University emerged winner of the Inter-University Smart Drinking Challenge in an epic Grand finale where 15 finalists battled it out at Kabira Country Club in Bukoto.
Tuhaire whose idea ‘Nile your vibe’ sought to address the harmful use of alcohol among young adults impressed judges, beating Linda Adong Lutanda of Makerere University to second place with UGX 2million and Raymond Mukasa Charles of Makerere University came third, bagging UGX 1 million.
Mr Onapito Ekomoloit, the Legal & Corporate Affairs Director Nile Breweries shared that they challenged university students across Uganda to submit the best ideas to encourage responsible drinking among youth, and the participants rose to the occasion to address drinking vices in their universities with practical solutions.
He congratulated the winner and shared that while they will walk away with prizes, the most critical aspect is that they are now ambassadors of smart drinking.
Launched in September this year, the inaugural Inter-University Smart Drinking Challenge, was aimed at influencing social norms and individual behaviours, by challenging students to submit the best ideas to encourage responsible behaviour among the youth.
The campaign launch followed recent studies that showed high levels of alcohol and drug abuse in Ugandan universities.
The submitted ideas for the competition were in written form, video, graphics and social media content forms to create winning concepts based on the theme BeSmartDrinkSmart, Beera Mu Class.
The competition saw students from the five (5) participating universities; Makerere University, Mbarara University of Science & Technology (MUST), Kampala University, Soroti University & Kyambogo University, battle it out throughout the campaign to make it to the top 100, then top 40 and top 15, from among whom emerged the top 3 who battled for the ultimate prize live on NBS TV. A total of 388 students entered the competition.
In the grand finale, the top 15 students pitched their ideas to select judges, including Bob Kasiki, Dr Innocent Nahabwe, Cynthia Tumwine Kawamara and Zandile Nqoko.
“I am very proud to have won this challenge and would like to thank my friends, my parents and most importantly, Nile Breweries Limited for believing in university students such as myself to do great things. To the rest of the students, always ensure to Nile your vibe (Be Smart) when drinking,” Patrick Nuwe Tuhaire the winner noted.
Ms Clare Asiimwe, NBL Sustainability manager and project manager of the campaign shared that Nile Breweries believes in and shares the UN Sustainable Development Goals’ ambition to reduce the harmful use of alcohol by 10% by 2025.
She explained that at NBL, they intend to create an interactive forum of champions of the behaviours and social norms that embody Smart Drinking in various universities in the country.
“Smart Drinking is part of NBL’s company culture, we continue to strive to bring that culture to communities. NBL would like to make every experience with a beer a positive one and build a company to last for the next 100+ years by motivating AB InBev employees and consumers to engage in Smart Drinking,” she said.
NBL has had an investment in Smart Drinking activities annually up to at least Ugx 200M, some of these include, No Excuse, Guidance labelling on bottles, Global Beer Responsible week, road safety programs among others.