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MBABANE – Hub giants Manzini Wanderers will play Denver Sundowns in a derby meant to promote the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) at the King Sobhuza II Memorial Stadium later this month.

The two Manzini-based sides have partnered with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) Eswatini for the pre-season awareness campaign. The partnership was launched at Manzini Total Coffee Shop yesterday. The awareness campaign came after both teams decided to engage the NCM in a bid to use football to reach the masses in the fight against gender-based violence. The ‘Weslians’ Chairman Mlungisi ‘Mluka’ Ndzinisa said as one of the biggest teams in the country, they decided together with their counterparts to go to Nhlangano to show their supporters what they have as teams in terms of players. “We have decided to do a vusela exercise in Nhlangano to lure our supporters back into the stadiums. Fortunately for us, since we also have a social responsibility, we have seen that some of our fans and supporters are involved in gender-based violence at homes,” Ndzinisa said.


He said since football had a large following, they then decided to engage an entity that would help to address the issue of gender-based violence. “We want them to add the value in addressing our supporters that gender-based violence was not good, that is why we decided to engage the NCM in the awareness campaign,” he said. He therefore thanked the ministries and Denver Sundowns for joining hands in the fight against gender-based violence initiative.

On the other hand, Denver Sundowns Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Elvis Dube thanked NCM for being part of the initiative. “This initiative is not about money but to help the nation on avoiding the gender-based violence at homes. I would also like to clarify that this is a friendly match to help raise the awareness and no money is involved,” Dube said. He then gave a brief background of the whole idea, saying as teams they had seen the amount of violence including murder in the name of love escalating in the country and this made them sit down and decide as to who could help them to send a voice against these issues, and they saw it fit to engage NCM.


“When we approached NCM they didn’t hesitate, but bought the idea as they were on the same vision of stopping gender-based violence,” he said. He then invited the Shiselweni folk to come to watch the game and be educated on how to curb gender-based violence. Denver Sundowns goalkeeper Lwethu Simelane, on the other hand was also present during the launch. He said the major cause of gender-based violence started from the lack of understanding the meaning of love. Figures from The Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) suggested that hundreds died due to gender-based violence during the COVID-19 era.

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