Ojoudu Chinonso is 13 years old. Recently, Chinonso attended a party where he had the opportunity to practice what he learnt from the SKILLZ Guyz project. It was on a Sunday and Chinonso and his friends were confronted with free alcoholic drinks at the party and they had to decide whether to get drunk or not. “There was enough for everyone to drink. Just as other days,” he said. “There was this urge from all of us to drink more alcohol and get drunk, after all, it was free but I remember what I learnt. I managed to tell everyone to stop drinking and that was how we all were able to maintain sanity that day. There was no fighting that day because no one was drunk.”

According to Chinonso, it used to be the norm for a fight to break out at such a gathering; it was a way for adolescents like him to display youthful exuberance. But Chinonso now knows better: “The programme taught me how to set my own goals and how to be a man of my words, not to be pushed into taking decisions.”

When asked about the other things he took away from the project, he was quick to answer: “I learnt many things. One thing is the gender equality practice. It opened my eyes to the reality that both males and females are equal. One other major thing is how to control my anger, and how to be a peacemaker.” Chinonso describes his SKILLZ Guyz experience and all that he learnt as skills acquisition:  “Before I acquired the Skillz Guyz skills, if anyone hurt me, I would ensure to take my pound of flesh, as a way of dousing my anger. But now I know there are other ways to control my anger, and how to make peace,” he said, with a promise to continue to toe that path.

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