Mberengwa miner tackles domestic violence, child marriages and drug abuse through sports gala
By Staff writer
Situated approximately 153 km away from the Midlands Capital, Gweru, Mberengwa District is home to several minerals including abundant gold deposits, emerald, iron ore, tantalite and lime, asbestos, chrome, platinum, and cement deposits.
Although the district boasts of many mineral deposits, issues of domestic violence, child marriages and drug abuse in Mberengwa cannot be ignored. It is on record that mining communities are often characterised by spikes in domestic and sexual violence against women fueled by the fact that men have greater access to cash through working in mining communities which increases high incidences of alcohol consumption and may lead to high levels of domestic violence (Development Governance Institute, 2015).
Women’s Academy for Leadership once reported on child marriages in Mberengwa during the COVID-19 pandemic citing that: “There are reports of child marriages in parts of Mberengwa and young girls and women dropping out of school in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the main reason being poverty, young women are running away from their homes.”
Worth noting is that in April 2022, Chief Mposi of Mberengwa was quoted by a Zimbabwean publication expressing concern on drug abuse by young people in the district.
“The issue of drug and substance abuse in Mberengwa has been worrisome. Poor parental care and lack of sustained education for young people has led them to resort to substance abuse,” he said.
Upon noticing these negative developments in the District, Mberengwa seasoned miner, Samson Ncube was prompted to tackle domestic violence, child marriages and drug abuse among young people through a sports gala dubbed ‘Sam Ncube Tournament.’ The tournament, which attracted hundreds of young people, was held this September at Vuronga Secondary School in Nyamhondo village under Chief Nyamhondo.
“I felt challenged by cases of children getting married at a very young age and decided to do an awareness campaign so that we reduce the number of people who are getting married early,”
The two-day tournament attracted many young people from Mberengwa district who got educated on the issues affecting them.
“The tournament’s theme was about early marriages, drug abuse, and domestic violence, it was an awareness campaign that was meant to keep the youth busy whilst at the same time contributing to their knowledge on the negative consequences of drug abuse, early child marriages and domestic violence,” Ncube said. “We had 10 teams for netball, ten teams for men and women’s soccer and participants were aged between 19-24 years.”
Ncube, who is also the Director of Swine Construction Private Limited solely sponsored the sports tournament to address issues affecting young people in mining communities.
“We were super excited to participate during this year’s tournament and I think it has helped us a lot by educating us on many issues,” Makanaka Sithole, one of the participants at the sports gala said. “The future of young people is bright without drug abuse and child marriage; this initiative should continue in order to impact current and future generations.”
One of the ward councilors in Mberengwa District Maud Ngwenya was the guest of honor at the event.
It is on record that in November 2021, Samson Ncube committed to improving education and health infrastructure in Mberengwa with projects including the construction of two clinics and a computer block at Mberengwa Christian Primary school.