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Youth Games light up Bulawayo

By Staff Reporter

The ongoing African Union Sports Council Region 5 Youth Games have brought excitement to Bulawayo, with residents thronging the various venues to catch a glimpse of some of the best developing sporting talents in Africa.

The games kicked off on 5 December and run until 14 December and were officially opened by President Robert Mugabe on Sunday.

The usually sleepy city has awoken from its slumber, with over 3000 guests from 10 countries in the city for the games.

The games are the talk of the city, with conversation in commuter omnibuses, offices and on the streets centred on these games.

Some of the sporting disciplines have attracted a lot of attention, drawing hundreds of spectators each day.

Boxing is one such discipline that has roused a lot of interest from the locals, who continue to throng the Large City Hall to watch boxers from the region trading leather.

“I have always watched boxing matches on television, so when I heard there were boxing matches at the City Hall; I took time to go and watch some of the matches and of course rally behind some the Zimbabwean representatives.


“I wasn’t disappointed at all and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It’s a pity that boxing in Zimbabwe has gone and we have few boxers representing the country at regional or international stages,” said Reginald Dube, an avid boxing fan.

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Dube also urged the country’s boxing federation to put its house in order and make sure the sport does not die a natural death.


Some of the popular sporting disciplines include football and athletics, which have a huge following not only in the country but throughout the world.

The games have also brought the much needed facelift to the city, with most of its facilities receiving major renovations. All the sporting venues and games village, housed at Hillside Teachers College have had major makeovers.

Speaking at civic reception organised by the Bulawayo City Council, Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Andrew Langa urged the local authority and residents to fully utilise and maintain the sporting facilities.

“I would like to exhort members of the Bulawayo City Council and your employees to take good care of the facilities. They should not be turned into white elephants,” said Langa.

While excitement and support from the stands has really been impressive, Team Zimbabwe has so far posted mixed results, with some athletes falling by the wayside while other have bagged medals.

Zimbabwe’s long distance duo of Caroline Mhandu and Bertha Chikanga did the nation proud when they claimed gold and silver in the 3,000 metres race respectively.

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Tennis sensation, Valeria Bhunu, got a silver medal after losing out in the women’s tennis singles final match.

The judo team also flew the country’s flag high, winning seven medals with judoka Gabriel Sepapati claiming a gold medal.

The boxing team is also expected to win a few medals as some of the country’s boxers managed to reach the finals.

The Young Warriors are in a good position to qualify to the next round, while the Young Mighty Warriors have had a difficult start.

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Nigel Mugamu is extremely passionate about the use of tech in Africa, travel, wine, Man Utd, current affairs and Zimbabwe.

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