Shepherd Chimururi

Youth Interactive Correspondent

Dreylee gaming club based in the high density suburb of Glen View has a got a great societal value. 

It is a haven for youth desperate to escape the vices of the ghetto. 

In fact, for local youths the e-gaming club, which is owned by Clayton Mafara, is an oasis of hope in a community with no youth friendly recreation facilities. 

Absence of modern day age appropriate sports centres like courts and fields for tennis, basketball, volleyball, netball, soccer, rugby, swings, gym and swimming pools means young people are starved of any meaningful entertainment. 

It is a dire situation.

This has put the e-gaming club under spotlight.

For some youths, Dreylee e-gaming club, the entertainment centre that serves over 100 youths per week is a safety net saving them from alcohol and drug abuse, gambling, prostitution and thieving.

For some it is a safe meeting place for positive socialisation, networking, refreshment and e-skills development. 

On the flip side, Dreylee e-gaming club is being regarded as a pill that cures idleness, loneliness and boredom.

Tracy Kazingizi (19) who is studying mechanical engineering with Budiriro based Highspeed Motors said she started playing games when she was  aged 17. 

“E-games helps me to relax the brain. I even learn some driving skills from these games. My two favourite games are ‘Call of duty’ and ‘Fifa’.

I used to play netball but I later realised that is not meant for me because it requires lot of energy to run and jump. 

Besides there was a lot of nepotism that’s why I left it,” she said.

 Kazingizi who often competes with boys because there are few girls who play the sport shared her secret on how she beats the boys, 

“Firstly I try to identify the weakness of the other player especially those boys who use one button instead of all buttons. However, it is harder to play against the computer because it eventually defeats you.

Tawananyasha Gondo (16) who was born from a soccer family that gave birth to former Dynamos football club bustling striker, Anesu Gondo, said he comes to the gaming club basically to refresh and socialise.

“I am doing Form 3 at Malta Academy where I play soccer. At the gaming club my favourite game is Fifa and my best performance so far was to be in top 4 at the last tournament. 

“During school days I basically come for two hours after school from 4pm to 6 pm then I go home to study my books. 

“Besides enjoying the game I have found new friends who think like me. If I am not play playing, I come to support others as we joke and laugh along. 

“At least I have somewhere to spend my time instead of being in the streets,” he said.

Rodrick Fazibo (16) a lower sixth student studying Geography, business enterprise skills and economics started playing Fifa which is his favourite game way back in 2017.

“I am a soccer player, so the Fifa e-game helps me in advancing my soccer skills. During holiday I find it a better activity to come here because it will be boring at home. But mostly I come to the club for few hours and then I go back to my books. 

“The good thing is the existence of the club means I no longer have time for negative behaviour like smoking, drugs and alcohol. Even when I am not playing I also enjoy other watching other players battling it out,” he said.

Dreylee e-gaming club also competes with other e-gaming clubs from high density suburbs such as Mufakose, Budiriro, Highfield and Southlea park.

It seems e-gaming in the ghetto is still an underground sport that is flourishing without the City Fathers’ support. 

Only if the sport could be recognised and supported more youth could benefit.

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