By Luckmore Safuli
Zimbabwe’s first blade runner, 15-year-old Pride Mafira has launched the One Shoe Zimbabwe Project which is a charity initiative that will see needy amputees across the country getting shoes.
Victoria Falls-based Mafira, who attracted international attention after scooping three gold medals at the South Africa Sports for the Physically Challenged in Cape Town, South Africa in 2019, sis also a Form Four student at Prince Edward High School in Harare.
“The idea to come up with this project started when l noticed that l had a suitcase full of half pair shoes and when I had an encounter with an amputee in Harare with an amputation on the opposite leg from mine, I felt l could donate my right leg shoes,” he says.
The extraordinary young athlete’s initiative has received positive feedback from many stakeholders in Victoria Falls and the country at large.
Victoria Falls New Apostolic Church’s Pastor Maliti Ngwenya says: “As a family we created a message which we sent on social media, inviting amputees with one leg to be part of the initiative and we received over 3000 messages.
“So far the project has been launched in Victoria Falls and will be rolled out in other parts of the country.”
“The boy is certainly an inspiration to the community of Victoria Falls. It is really a touching and positive story. As a local leader l am so much moved and impressed,” said Hwange West Legislator, Godfrey Dube.
The talented blade runner, whose dream is to one day raise the country’s flag high at future Paralympics, believes there is still a long way to go in ensuring that amputees across the country get the necessary support and has pledged to play a part in that mission.