I’m a ‘functional’ alcoholic: Tererai

BY PRECIOUS CHIDA

ONE of the golden picks of the urban grooves movement of the early 2000s, Tererai Mugwadi, yesterday claimed that her 14-year battle with alcoholism attracted a vicious campaign against her by both the media and individuals, forcing her into isolation.

The musician, whose silky voice saw her featuring on many artistes’ songs, told a drug and substance abuse social influencers’ meeting attended by Health and Child Care deputy minister John Mangwiro, that music and substance abuse were interdependent.

Describing herself as a “functional alcoholic” Mugwadi said the negative stories about her published in the mainstream media and vicious attacks on social media saw her opting for isolation, although she found her elixir in prayer and meditation.

“I am a living testimony of a functional alcoholics which once caused me to suffer from minor epilepsy syndromes and I have been battling with it for the past 14 years,” she said.

“The media has managed to be a hindrance in my life with the negative issues that continued to come out which contributed to a series of insults in my inbox and I ended up isolating myself. However, I ascribed to meditation and praying more which really helps a lot.”

A functional alcoholic is an individual who manages to maintain the appearance of success despite their alcohol addiction.

Mugwadi said she had been working with children interested in music and helping them produce their work, but some parents did not want her to associate with their children because of how alcohol and drug abuse have been associated with the music industry.

“I work with young children, producing and writing their music but some parents do not want me to work with their children because of the image that musicians have given the industry through their abuse of drugs,” she said.

“With our profession, it has been regarded normal to drink during work, and most of the times even if you visit different studios, a lot of times when we are gathered as artistes, alcohol and drugs are circulated to remain ‘sane’ as we would say.”

The songstress encouraged musicians battling alcoholism and drug abuse to speak out.

The meeting was organised by Consolidated Africa Services in partnership with the Department of Mental Health Services and the Ministry of Health and Child Care to share information on alcohol and substance abuse as well as how music can be used to carry the message on solutions in society.

Mangwiro encouraged musicians to compose songs that speak against substance abuse.

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