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City brings Africans together through sport on Africa Day Print E-mail
30 May 2017

People of various African nationalities living in Johannesburg were at the weekend brought together through sport as part of the 54th anniversary of Africa Day celebrations.

Sunday May 28 saw the City of Johannesburg hosting two unifying events – the 21km JM Busha 54 Race at Rand Stadium in Rosettenville and the Simunye Cup at Wembley Stadium in Turffontein, both in Region F.

A total of R20 000 in cash prizes was shared among the first top three finishers of the gruelling 21km JM Busha 54 Race, an initiative of Johannesburg-based JM Busha 54, a continental non-profit organisation established in 2000 by the Joseph Makamba Busha Investment Group to promote education, peace, unity and harmony among all the 54 African countries.

Johannesburg is the second African city to host the race after Maputo, Mozambique, staged it last year. The City’s Director of Sport and Recreation, Siyanda Mnukwa, was delighted after the City successfully staged the event.

“We feel honoured to have hosted the race, especially as it coincided with Africa Month. This is not just a mere race but a way to show we are behind unity and fully support a healthy lifestyle among our citizens and we want to unite them with their fellow Africans.

“The founders of the race could have chosen any other city in South Africa, but they chose us, the City of Johannesburg. We are honoured to be partners with the JM Busha 54,” Mnukwa said.

JM Busha 54 founder and director Joseph Busha said the race was a social responsibility initiative to help eradicate social ills tearing the continent apart.

“The rationale behind this race is to get the youth and ordinary members of society to be responsible and accountable for the state of the continent,” he said.

“Because Africa is marred by many problems, such as inequality, you see people fleeing their countries to free themselves from poverty. We have realised that when every individual takes the responsibility for peace, stability and social cohesion we will have fewer problems in Africa.

“What we wanted to do [with this race] was to make sure we brought everyone together to demonstrate the diversity we have in Johannesburg. The City has put a lot of effort in this,” Busha said.

In the other sporting event celebrating Africa Day, Mali beat Ghana 1-0 in the final of Simunye Cup, a soccer tournament in which players representing 20 African countries – including South Africa – took part. Mali won R15 000 for its victory. The six-week tournament started on March 18.

Chairperson of the African Diaspora of Hope Seraphin Kengne said the tournament had played a huge role in bringing Africans together.

“We believe we can use sport to unite Africa and promote social cohesion among African people. Today we celebrate with Mali for its victory against Ghana. But all the countries are winners for taking part,” said Kengne.

The City’s Joyce Jiyane echoed Kengne, saying the main goal was to promote social cohesion and foster good relations among South Africans and foreign nationals.

“Tonight we’re not only celebrating with Mali but we’d also like to acknowledge other teams that were part of the game,” she said.


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Last Updated on 30 May 2017