FORMER Gifford High School pupils and now Highlanders players, Bukhosi Sibanda and Munyaradzi Chitambwe, were the toast of the day after giving motivational speeches at the school as part of an initiative to encourage youth to keep away from drugs.
The initiative is part of the club’s partnership with principal sponsors, cellular company NetOne, to motivate and encourage the youth to take up sport and live healthy lifestyles, free of drugs and illegal substance abuse.
Young Chitambwe, who recently broke into the senior team, and is a first-year student at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) studying Sports Science and Coaching. He implored youngsters at Gifford High to be wary of peer pressure, which might lead to drug abuse.
“Some of you guys might remember me, especially the A-levels students because I was your senior just three years ago and I know how peer pressure can push one to start taking drugs and absconding classes.
“It’s important to stay focused in your studies, to set clear goals for yourself and work hard to achieve them because nothing in life is impossible with hard work and dedication,” Chitambwe told the Gifford High School boys.
NetOne is using players from the teams that it sponsors to reach out to pupils at their former schools by giving motivational speeches.
NetOne bankrolls Highlanders, Caps United, Chapungu and Black Rhinos. In September the programme began in Gweru where Chapungu players visited their former school in Mkoba 3.
Other Bosso players — Charlton Siamalonga and Godfrey Makaruse — also visited Mzilikazi High School.
Another former Gifford High School pupil Sibanda, who has also played for now defunct Bantu Rovers and Ubuntu Cape Town in South Africa, gave a brief history of his football career.
“You just have to believe in yourselves, nothing is impossible if you remain dedicated, disciplined and determined to succeed.
“As I stand before you today telling you about my journey that started at Bantu Rovers when I was a young boy then I moved to South Africa and now play for Highlanders, always remember that you can also make it in life.
“Everyone has a story to tell and if you work hard, one day you will also stand here and tell your own story that will motivate other young kids,” said Sibanda.