Ronald Mashinga, Sports Reporter
GRASSROOT Soccer (GRS) Zimbabwe will play host to the 2019 Equalise Football Festival at Sotshangane Grounds today.
The event runs under the theme, “Stop Gender-Based Violence (GBV). Promote Peaceful and Healthy Communities.”
GRS Programmes Manager Happy Ncube said four schools Sikhulile, Mzilikazi, Sobukhazi and Gifford will compete at the tournament.
“We have invited four high school teams; Sikhulile, Mzilikazi, Sobukazi and Gifford to come and play at the festival. It is not a competitive football per se, but since we are a soccer-based organisation, the main sport of the day will be soccer,” said Ncube.
Former soccer players who include Gift Lunga (senior), Chipo Tsodzo, Amelia Muleso and Sithandezile Mathobela have been invited to deliver speeches and interact with people at the festival.
“The festival is a way of saying let’s come together as a community through football. We are trying to highlight issues that are affecting us as a community, violence against women and young girls. As a football organisation, we can promote equality. Soccer is viewed as a boys’ sport but I can equally play soccer and at the same time be equally recognised as a legend,” she said.
The festival will start with a walk from the Main Post Office in town at 7AM to Sotshangane Grounds.
The event is funded by Swedish Postcode which seeks to empower the girl-child, take on GBV issues and advocate for fairness within football and the society.
The festival will also feature HIV testing, cervical cancer screening, voluntary medical male circumcision, psycho-social support services, drug and substance abuse information and birth registration.
Local artistEs, Khayisa Drama Group, kwaito rapper Mawiza and Mgcini Calvin Nhliziyo also known, as Cal Vin, will provide entertainment.