Malawi has come under criticism as an 11-year-old boy, who is defending champion in a drinking contest in Malawi, died during the final stage.
The social media is agog with comments that the southeastern African nation has declined into depravity and debauchery for an 11-year-old boy to die in a beer drinking competition.
Some wonder if there is no age restriction in the country for alcohol consumption.
The boy identified as Humphreys Chipeta, who was a keen drinker, died after drinking five bottles of kachasu at a beer-drinking contest in Mzimba in the northern part of the country.
Kachashu is an illegal traditional distilled beverage consumed mainly in rural and poor urban residential areas of Malawi.
The beer-drinking competition was organised for those aged under 14, those below 21 years, and for seniors. The winner of the beer-drinking competition was set to pocket MK20 000 (about N10,000).
Eyewitnesses disclosed that the boy had reached the finals of the contest when he collapsed. An eyewitness said that they suspected foul play in the boy’s death as he was the defending champion.
Emmanuel Chirwa, an eyewitness said contestants paid a MK1,000 entrance fee and were required to eat before the drinking competition.
Chirwa also affirmed that: “He was not just an amateur boozer. So, he did not die because he did not eat before beginning the contest. They all ate before the contest. Something went wrong.
Nkhata, another eyewitness said: “We hear the child was in Standard 7 at Kafulufulu primary and with schools on a corona (Covid-19) break, he turned into an avid drunkard”.
The child protection officer for the area, Shanks Nkhata, said he was following up the matter and would engage traditional leaders on banning the brewing of the illicit beer.
Beer drinking competitions are common in parts of Malawi.