Seke Youth Bemoan Lack of Recreational Facilities
Recreation and general entertainment is often ignored but it plays a critical role in the socialization and everyday living of any person. After some household chores and day today responsibilities, the rural youth in Zimbabwe is found with nothing else meaningful to do or draw their attention, a situation that has been worrying many young people living in rural and farming areas.
Zimbabwe has for almost two decades suffering from economic challenges that have left young people idle. The situation is different and worse for rural youths who have literally little to do apart from helping out with household chores. Economic activities for rural youth are limited to agriculture and very few have the capacity to productively procure inputs to fully operationalize agricultural activity.
Organizing for Zimbabwe Trust managed to interact with youth in the Seke communal lands and they expressed concern over what they felt was neglect by local leadership that comes with empty promises, lie to them and leave them with empty promises.
“Politicians are using us year in year out. We love soccer and they take advantage and come with promises that they would sponsor us in exchange of our active involvement towards their political ambitions. We have nothing to do so we just conform to nothing materializing” said a youth from ward 5.
Lack of a livelihood and recreation is living people vulnerable to political exploitation and other deviant behaviours. The situation is terrible for rural girls who literally have nothing to do except the household duties. After finishing school there is nothing the community can offer to these girls in terms of entertainment and this ultimately result in early sexual activity, early marriages and abuse of young girls.
“The only entertaining thing here are boys’ soccer that is played during weekends, besides that there is nothing. As a girl my situation is even terrible. I am expected to be at home by 5 pm as compared to boys. Without a radio, a phone or television we are doomed and at the end of the day boys becomes our entertainment…kana uine mukomana utori nani” beamoned the girl
There is a mirage of effects that come with lack of recreation especially in the rural communities. With limited access to information, education and employment opportunities young people are left vulnerable resulting in them engaging in crime such as drug abuse, house breaking and at times political violence. The majority of the young men spend most of their time at growth points and girls are glued at home.
It is critical that development is evenly distributed and priorities revised. With an environment that has nothing to offer for the current generation, recreation plays an important role towards the psychological health of many young people.