Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
ARTISTES and athletes from Matabeleland South Province have requested to be provided with facilities and equipment which can enable them to fully engage in their activities.

Speaking recently in Gwanda during a meeting with the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation, Dr Thokozile Chitepo artistes and athletes said it was difficult for them to perfect their performances to meet international standards without necessary facilities.

They also called out to the ministry to assist them with virtual platforms where they could perform as they could not perform at gatherings due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.

Dumi Dube who is an artiste from Mangwe District said there were many artistes with great potential in the rural areas but they did not have means of marketing their talents. He said there was need for the ministry to assist these artistes with exposure and to assist them with linkages.

Mthokozisi Sibanda, a Gwanda-based artiste said due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic the livelihoods of artistes had been affected as they earn income through performing at gatherings.

He said artistes at grassroots level did not have virtual platforms through which they could reach audiences.

Mthabisi Moyo from the Gwanda Pool Association said it was difficult to nurture young talent without necessary facilities.

“As the Gwanda Pool Association we usually host games but we conduct them in bars. We have children that we want to train in pool but we don’t have places where we can train them as they are not allowed in bars. We need pool centres where we can train children. This is important as we have to groom and nurture future pool players,” he said.

Nobuhle Sibanda who is an athlete from Gwanda said there was need for facilities where trainings for various sporting disciplines could be conducted.

She said Matabeleland South Province was largely rural which meant that some youngsters who had talent were not fully exploiting their potential as they did not have access to necessary facilities. She said in the process youngsters were losing out on potential career paths.

Sibanda said there was need for these facilities to be availed at grassroots level.

“There are a number of sporting disciplines which children from Matabeleland South Province are talented in but we don’t have facilities to train them. We need soccer pitches, netball, basketball, tennis courts, cricket pitches among others.

“These have to be set up in various districts so that youngsters in the rural areas can be awarded an opportunity to explore their talents and realise their full potential. Some of these children desire to venture into certain sporting disciplines but they have never seen proper courts or fields or handled equipment used in those sporting disciplines,” she said. — @DubeMatutu.