Sunday Mail Reporter

The scourge of the coronavirus pandemic meant that this year’s edition of the Zimpapers Cancer Power Walk was held virtually, but this fortunately created a viable avenue for a highly successful event as multitudes of participants from home and abroad had an opportunity to join in.

Hashtagged ZimpapersCancerPowerWalk, this year’s event was running under the theme “I Am and I Will”.

The walk, which has become a not-to-miss fixture on the annual calendar, is meant to not only raise cancer awareness, but to promote healthy lifestyles as well.

Yesterday, all health protocols were strictly followed in line with local and global health guidelines meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

But this did not dampen the fun-filled event through which participants also had the opportunity to jog and partake in Zumba dance classes hosted by Mr Zororo “Zorro” Nhira and Ms Michelle Dube.

Those who took part had the unique opportunity of sharing their experiences on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

Zorro and Dube’s live Zumba session, which attracted a sizeable virtual audience, was beamed live on the Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN)’s Facebook page.

Not surprisingly, there were participants from as far as Kariba and Bikita, while others joined in from Dubai, South Africa, the
United Kingdom and the United States of America.

In Harare, the walk started from King George Road in Avondale, passing through Lomagundi Road via Sam Nujoma, Herbert Chitepo and Leopard Takawira before coming full circle.

Zimnat Life Assurance executives, who joined the noble initiative, underlined the importance of raising cancer awareness.

“I feel this is a fantastic initiative. It is about bringing people together; it resonates with our purpose as Zimnat and my own personal goal to be considerate and make life better for other people.

“Keeping fit is of utmost importance nowadays. We applaud Zimpapers for giving us a chance to take part in this initiative that is a win-win for all,” Zimnat Life Assurance managing director Mr Workmore Chimweta said.

Zimnat group marketing executive, Mrs Tatenda Marongwe, said the insurance giant is fully behind the fight against cancer.

“As the Zimnat Group we are glad to have been a part of this great initiative. We did this for cancer; we did this to make life better for others.”

Zorro said his Zumba fitness routines were important in bringing people together to spread cancer awareness.

“It is very important and we do it for free because we want to reach everyone in every corner of the world. We partner Zimpapers every year, and we are always waiting for the next edition,” he said.

Zimpapers public relations and corporate affairs manager Ms Beatrice Tonhodzayi said the support was humbling.

She underscored the importance of holding events virtually in line with Covid-19 restrictions.

“I am very excited by the support that we got, not just from people who have been walking across the country, but in different parts of the world. Because when you are virtual you are able to reach out to anyone.

“I know of people who were sharing their pictures early this morning from UK, Dubai, South Africa and USA because cancer affects everyone. It is not just a Zimbabwean issue but a global challenge. People are doing their own walks and runs and using technology to share that journey,” she said.

All proceeds from the annual Cancer Power Walk will go to Island Hospice and Healthcare.

Cancer is one of the country’s leading killer diseases and is expensive to treat.

Some of the companies and organisations that sponsored the walk include Plascon, Zimnat, FBC Bank Limited, People’s Republic of China, Securico, Island Hospice and Health Care, AWS global freight, Allen Wack & Shephered Global Freight (Pvt) Ltd, Cruiz Auto City, Fusertech, Medirite Healthcare (Pvt) Ltd, Aquamist (Pvt) Ltd, Coleayden Investments (Pvt) Ltd and CWG.