Football isn't just Africa's favourite sport.
It brings people together, so when our trauma counselling groups started accepting perpetrators of violence along with victims, the next question was: «What more can we do to break down the divisions that cause these problems?», and the first answer was a football team.
We now have five teams in four of Harare's low-income suburbs, who play regularly against each other and other «social soccer» teams in their areas.
Our star team in Mbare is playing a return match this afternoon against the one team that defeated them this year, which represents the whole muslim community of Harare and its million-strong dormitory town of Chitungwiza. This team has more professional training and proper football boots, so they present a real challenge.
Among the victories this year, our team beat the local youth of both main political parties: winning against Zanu (Pf) 1-0 and Mdc 3-2. They also played a match against the visitors for the Jesuits' Magis Africa programme in August. The visitors had some good palyers, and a couple of Germans (when memories of this year's World Cup were fresh), but our team had been kicking a ball around in the street together as rivals since they were able to stand on two feet and as a united team for three years. The result was a foregone conclusion: Ayema Street, Mbare 8. the Rest of the World 0. But, as usual, a good time was had by all.
27 ottobre 2014