Community members from Goromonzi who came to watch Afcon Soccer Match
Community members from Goromonzi who came to watch Afcon Soccer Match

Millions of soccer fanatics around the globe had chances to follow their teams during the tourna-ment on various media channels and platforms. 24 teams took the field of play during the tournament which saw history made by individuals and teams. Algeria winning the coveted prize for the second consecutive time beating the same team, Our own son of the soil, Alvin “Aluva” Zhakata making his-tory by becoming AFCON2019 “Super fan” by making a lifetime experience travelling from Cape to Cairo whose life had been “threatened” several times but he was proud to have made it and felt “he was on top of the world”, but did not get a single chance to cheer his beloved team “the warriors” who were booted out of the tournament be-fore he reached Egypt. Zimbabwe’s match with Egypt attracted over 70,000 fans. 

However, history was also being made in Zimbabwe, for the first time many soccer lovers were 

failed an opportunity to follow the extravaganza on “real-time” due to various reasons, chief among them the scarcity of electricity energy in many parts of the country and the failure by the sole National Television to broadcast these matches. Many soccer fans were left marginalized. 

In its endeavor to creating space for Community Radio advocacy and lobbying, the Perch Media Trust supported by the Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS) partnered Goromonzi FM (Goromonzi), Radio Chiedza (Harare) and Ma-dziva FM (Madziva) to bring soccer lovers mostly men through providing entertainment by successfully screening live some AF-CON soccer matches of the just ended Africa’s biggest soccer cup tournament at various spots outside the capital. Citing the need to bridge the gap between the marginalized communities and the non-marginalized, this gesture brought joys to hundreds of soccer fans who rose above politics, race, creed and gender. The greatest objective was to catch those of the male gender who most often do not attend these community advocacy meetings and training so that they also get an opportunity to hear more about CRI’s. 

Speaking on the backdrop of this gesture, Collen Ma-gobeya who is the founder of Perch Media Trust and also one of the founding advocates for CRI’s said, “it was a strategic arrangement for these organizations to use soc-cer matches so as to reach the hearts of many men who are mainly missing in the CRI’s advocacy equation. He categori-cally specified the importance of community radios as playing a significant role at the grass roots level for rural development where issues of poverty, agriculture, gender inequality, educa-tion, social problems among others could be the focus for pro-gramming.” 

Simba of Madziva community welcomed the gesture and thanked the organizers for taking AFCON Soccer to Madziva, he also noted the need for such Community programs to keep running so that they are kept abreast with the developments in their community. 

Mr. Mlambo who owns a business at Seke Besa business center was thankful to Perch and Radio Chiedza for remembering such communities and encouraged for such gatherings as they bring people of the same hood together for the same cause or purpose. 

At Goromonzi, Mai Sandra said they really do want such organizations in Goromonzi so that information about issues that affects them is relayed on time and with emphasis unlike what happened with the Chimani-mani Cyclone Idai disaster which was not proactively announced and measures taken to avert losses of lives and property, so Community Radios are the way to go. 

History was made at AFCON tournament and History was made in Zimbabwe through AFCON. However it is the greatest achievement that was made by the organiz-ers as they managed to penetrate the hearts of many men. 

With many players coming on board to support this act by providing moral and resources support, surely there is need to license Community radio Stations in Zimbabwe.