NEW: Football provides haven from drugs for Mazowe youths

29 Oct, 2021 - 15:10 0 Views
NEW: Football provides haven from drugs for Mazowe youths

The Sunday Mail

Fatima Bulla 

In the mining town of Mazowe in Mashonaland Central, football has become a safe haven for young boys running away from drug abuse.

Drugs are threatening to destroy the future of youths within communities.

Mashonaland Central is known for its high rate of child marriages, teenage pregnancies and school dropouts.

Many school dropouts end up in the area’s gold mining fields.

With the gold rush enticing young people to pursue illegal panning, football has become a tool for proper mentorship.

A number of the boys are now contemplating a career in football, with Mazowe United providing a platform for them to display their talent.

Fanuel Chasaya, who coaches boys from as young as five, brought the lads together during the Covid-19 induced lockdown.

He said the team was created to ensure that boys in the storied community of Mazowe, could have somewhere safe to spend their time, instead of idling.

“They started from scratch, without any one of them being able to hold the ball. So, we started by teaching them to hold the ball, push and pass. Now I can see that they know the positions they play,” Chasaya said.

One of the budding players, Proper Phiri, said he admires former national team and CAPS United striker, Leonard Tsipa.

“I am a goal-scoring machine indeed, and my team mates call me ‘Tsipa’. My only wish is that Tsipa could visit our community just to see how I play or even give me his jersey or football boots,” Phiri said.

Mazowe United treasurer, John Mudemba, said the project started as a social initiative but it became a positive alternative from drinking illicit brews, which were becoming popular among youths in the community.

“We saw it fit to train football, as it shifted the minds of these boys from abusing drugs. We also got a coach who loves to train young boys.

“Now we train young boys from five years, who now can hold the ball and understand the position they play. We even use our personal funds to ensure that we pay referees and other expenses to host division two games,” he said.

The coaches said they hope to secure proper football equipment to help them in their constructive work.


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