“ZOU Champions Fight Against Drug Abuse with Fun-Filled Indoor Games Tournament!”
In a bid to combat drug abuse among students, Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) recently organized an exciting indoor games tournament at Mutare Polytechnic College. More than 110 ZOU staff and students participated in various games while spreading awareness about the dangers of substance abuse.
The tournament, which ran from 25 to 28 January 2024, saw students from the ten ZOU regional campuses engaging in debate, chess, and modeling competitions. The event, dubbed “Fighting Drug Abuse through Sports,” aimed to use fun-filled activities as a vehicle to fight drug addiction and promote productivity among students.
Bulawayo region emerged victorious in the debate competition, while Mashonaland Central won the best public speaking price. The modeling competition saw Mashonaland East and Midlands taking home the Mr. ZOU and Mr. Personality prizes, respectively.
Harare claimed the Miss ZOU award, with Mashonaland East also securing the Ms. Personality title in modeling. Midlands region showcased their strategic skills by winning the Chess competition.
Ephinos Takawira, the President of ZOU’s National Student Representative Committee (NSRC), expressed his delight at the high attendance, viewing it as a positive sign of students’ willingness to break free from addiction. Takawira emphasized that the tournament aimed to raise awareness about the ills of drug abuse and encourage talent identification among students.
The Dean of Students, Mrs. Thandiwe Chivasa, remarked that engaging students in organized activities like these would help prevent them from falling into substance abuse. She highlighted that active participation in sports during term breaks would keep students away from vices, crime, and drug abuse.
Mr. Stephen Mwenje, the Regional Director of Manicaland, commended the NSRC for organizing the tournament during the semester break. He called on authorities to invest more in sports activities in universities and colleges to nurture talent and provide students with positive outlets.
Diana Chipidza, the Vice President of the NSRC, appreciated the university’s support in curbing drug abuse among ZOU students. She stressed the importance of educating students about the dangers of substance abuse and vowed to spread the message to other regions.
Michael Manuhwa, a ZOU student, stated that he would share the information he gained at the event with his peers who were unable to attend. He emphasized the need for strict government policies against drug peddling and abuse. Manuhwa added that educational institutions should tirelessly campaign against drug abuse since they are where most youth and students spend their time.
Vongai Ncube, another student, expressed her gratitude for the information she received on the dangers of drugs and ways to reduce associated risks. She believed that the tournament had acted as a catalyst in the fight against drug and substance abuse, transforming her perspective significantly.
The university’s commitment to combat this issue and support its students was commendable. By utilizing fun activities and fostering talent identification, ZOU aims to create a brighter and drug-free future for its students.
As the largest university in Zimbabwe, ZOU continues to make strides in providing quality education and addressing social issues that affect its students. The institution’s dedication to fighting drug abuse sets an inspiring example for other universities and communities in Zimbabwe.