Many times, the best person to speak to others suffering from the same a problem, is the one who has been through the same issue. For example, a women’s hospital decides to hold a camp on informing and advising women on miscarriages.
An array of gynaecologists and neo-natal experts will make an impressive panel for the women to listen to. However, a mother who has miscarried multiple times, but has managed to deal with the stress and grief, is more likely to be understood and appreciated better by mothers who come for the camp and have suffered the same problem.
This is not to say the experts should not participate; they are, of course, necessary to the conversation. Instead, it is to say a person who has experienced a problem, overcome it and learnt lessons, is a much-needed voice.
At the weekend, as the Daily Monitor website and paper reported, artiste Jackie Chandiru gave a talk to students at Makerere University Business School (Mubs) about the consequences of drug consumption. This was at the Mubs monthly Women Forum and launch of anti-drug use campaign.
Although Chandiru unfortunately fainted before she spoke, due, she said to a seizure, she was still able to come and give her talk. In her open and raw testimony, she spoke about how drug addiction has ruined her life and asked the audience not to even consider doing it.
It is impressive that despite the rumours, numerous stories, insults, victimisation, and the long battle with drug overdose, Chandiru is able to stand in public and talk about what she has gone through in order to warn others not to undergo the same experience. She also encouraged others that they can get out of that pit and be a survivor.
What Mubs has done by asking Chandiru to speak to the students and go further by becoming part of the career guidance and counselling department so as to teach and sensitise students about the dangers of drugs is commendable.
This example should be emulated by universities, institutions and organisations to deal with different chronic problems that affect people in the areas of health, finances, entrepreneurship, and yes, relationships.
People who have been through harrowing or difficult experiences and come out of them alive and able to start all over again are able to resonate well with the audiences going through the same problems. Let us regularly and consistently give them a platform to share best practices and encourage others in a similar situation on how overcome.