Trust Khosa. Assistant News Editor
REGGAE artiste and community builder, Emmanuel “Mannex” Motsi, says his heart bleeds for ghetto yutes who abuse drugs while promoting vice.
The former Bootkin Klan founder, through his cultural organisation – Warren Park Arts and Kulture Development Association (WAPAKUDA) – has since partnered with the local business community and leadership to raise awareness against drug abuse.
Last weekend, Mannex facilitated an Under 20 tournament, which featured 10 soccer teams from Warren Park and its environs in his efforts to step up the campaign against drug abuse.
Local traditional dance group, Golden Spears Cultural Ensemble, added flair at the event, which was sponsored by prominent Harare businessman and community builder Moan Sohail.
Moan is also an aspiring Member of Parliament for the constituency.
In an interview with H-Metro, the WAPAKUDA boss said it was high time various stakeholders combine forces and fight drug abuse which is rife in most ghettos.
“I was roped in here by organisers of this tournament to ensure that we raise awareness against substance abuse which is now rife in most ghettos during the Covid-19 lockdown.
“We have realizsed that it was better that we blend the tournament with traditional dance performances as you have witnessed today.
“As most people are aware, WAPAKUDA has been on the forefront promoting such campaigns so that we give our youths a future since most of them have been spending much of their times abusing drugs,” he said.
Mannex, who fronts the Reggae Mo Familee Band, said the campaign was also part of his efforts to raise funds to rehabiliate the recreational facilities in the area.
“We have also noted that most of the young people have resorted to drugs because they have nothing to do.
“Today, we invited our sponsor to come and empower the young people who were playing soccer and performing music here.
“We have also shown him some of the reactional facilities that needs rehabilitation especially here at Warren Park Stadium.
“We used to have state of the art changing rooms, basket and tennis courts as well as soccer pitches that have been turned into maize fields.
“Surely, we can afford to sit on our laurels while our facilities are being run down,” headed.
Tournament sponsor and aspiring Member of Parliament Sohail said he was touched by the plight of young men sitting on their talents.
“First and foremost, we are simply following what our President has told us to ensure that we fight criminal activities and make sure the young people have something that keep them occupied.
“There is a lot of talent here and that is why I decided to come here and sponsor them.
“There is cash prize, trophy and soccer balls that are going to be handed over to event organisers and help the young people in their endavours.
“Of course I was an inspiring Member of Parliament in 2018 but I h have never letdown my constituency.
“I will continue to do my best and working ensure we empower our young people who are doing sports and arts so that they earn a living from,” he said.
Sohail who hailed Mannex for his efforts has vowed to take the campaing to other suburbs.
“We won’t stop here in Warren Park but we will take this campaign to other suburbs like Rugare and Belvedere and other suburbs so that we identify talent that can be absorbed by national selectors.
“While the tournament has been done, I can safely say there is not winner and loser since it was just a platform for them to showcase their talent,” he added.
In another interview, Golden Spears Cultural Ensembe leader Luckymore Magaya said it was an honour to be invited to come and perform at the event.
“Being invited to come and perform here as the only tradition dance group shows we have a different flair that other group’s lack.
“Our vision is to bring back our culture through traditional music dance.
“As you know, traditional dance defines us and as a group of youngsters we hope to continue showcasing our culture through this medium,” he said.
Meanwhile, teams that participated at the event comprise Bohsa, Dreamers, Westlea, Sportsvile, Rugare Rangers, Total, Tamarind, Vaslooi, Huda Accademy and Greeners.
Grassroots soccer coach Benjamin Magorimbo mobilised the teams to come and participate at the tournament.