Jojweni village in Cacadu hosted the annual Jojo soccer tournament during the festive season to raise awareness about gender-based violence (GBV), which reportedly plagues the village and surrounding areas.
The tournament involved eight senior and two U15 soccer teams from several villages in the Chris Hani area, in an effort to get the youth involved in sports and other positive activities.
One of the organisers of the tournament, Mawande Jaxa, said there was a team of seven who started the tournament in 2013 as a means to give back to their village since they all worked outside the province.
“Last year especially, we learned of many GBV incidents in our villages and others close to ours like Tsembeyi where two elderly women were killed. In our village, we had a similar incident of an old woman who was killed by a young man from our community. We decided to dedicate this year’s tournament to raise awareness about GBV in the village, with the hope that visitors from other areas will take the message of protecting and respecting women and children to their respective places.”
Jaxa indicated the tournament was not only a vehicle to get the message against GBV across, but also a community development-driven initiative to raise funds for school children who came from underprivileged homes.
“There are many young people in villages who have nothing to do. Some have dropped out of school and others are unemployed, which is why there is so much crime. The youth are not motivated or proactive to start programmes to benefit themselves, so we decided to be hands-on and ensure this tournament does not die down over the years.
“We managed to raised funds to buy full school uniform for underprivileged pupils from Mzamomhle Junior Secondary School and it is all thanks to the locals who contributed to this course. The organisers also bought T-shirts which we printed with slogans and sold.”
Jaxa thanked everyone who supported the event and said he hoped it would grow bigger and better.
Ward 8 councillor Nosibulele Nqono promised to assist the organisers with the 2020 tournament.
Jojweni soccer team, Juventus FC, which played the final game against Blue Sonics, won the tournament and walked away with a R3 500 cash prize, gold medals and a trophy.