Walking the talk: Zimpapers Cancer Power Walk

Lifestyle Writer

It’s Pink Saturday!

Pink for a purpose. Pink for a cause. Pink for a disease that has changed the lives and lifestyles of many people. Cancer!

And, so, as it stands out, since the ancient rythm of life to survive,  no one knows when it strikes.

This pink is therefore not a fashion statement but a life statement.

We are not talking about the famous rapper album, Nicki Minaj- Pink Friday nor about the movie ‘Barbie’, but today the town was painted pink by participants of the eighth edition of the Zimpapers Cancer Power Walk.

Although we are now in November, the last month of October is known the world over as Breast Cancer Awareness month henceforth the campaign but awareness can continue and spread to other months and days.

Zimpapers in partnership with Island Hospice, chose today as the best day to commemorate and raise awareness with a power walk, which began at 6 am up until 10 am in all respective areas.

By the way, it is not only Harare as people gathered at Old Hararians Sports Club.

In Bulawayo, all roads lead to Chronicle House, while in Mutare it starts at Manicaland Motoring Club.

For those in Masvingo, the show was at the Civic Centre, and in Gweru at OK Mart and will follow laid down routes.

Organisers of this year’s edition have said although raising awareness for cancer may not cure it, it helps lots of people in several ways, as cancer awareness events, campaigns, and messages gain steam.

Zimpapers public relations and communications manager Pauline Matanda said the campaign focuses on raising funds for Island Hospice’s cancer initiatives while educating people on the cancers that are affecting people across the world.

“We have been running the cancer campaign since the beginning of the year and today we have managed to wrap up with a Power Walk,” she said.

“We have been moving with the cancer calendar and awareness on different cancer types has been running in our newspapers, radio stations, and even our online platforms,” she said.

Matanda added that the awareness focused on helping to reduce the stigma about cancer.

“Everyone is invited. As part of the fundraising, a registration fee of US$10 for walkers or runners and US$20 for cyclists, will see participants getting event-themed T-shirts and caps.”

“It is also about connecting people to the support and care they need, encouraging research and fund advancements in the field, reducing exposure to cancer risks, promoting screening and prevention efforts.”

“Although cancer is a public challenge, many people don’t realise or understand exactly how it affects the community, nation, and world,” she said.

Matanda said there were regalia for everyone so that participants could make a bold statement.

“Regalia was collected at Herald House for Harare participants, Chronicle House for Bulawayo, Manica Post Building for Mutare, Zimpapers offices in Masvingo and Gweru, and Platinum FM studios for Chinhoyi.”

Added Matanda: “Let us walk, run, or cycle for the cause; invite friends and family. Cycling will be in Harare and Gweru.”

The ever-smiling public relations manager thanked all the sponsors who have partnered with Zimpapers and Island Hospice in this initiative.

The sponsors include FBC Holdings and Sunny Yi Feng Tiles who are the diamond sponsors, West Group Security Services, Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe, West Property, Masuka Christian High School, Bak Logistics, Rue’s Paper Flowers, Sir Charles, Hybrid Travel & Tours, Ambulance Care and Evacuation, Oriental Multi-Media, Pathology Laboratories, Hitbay, Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy, MIC Radiology, Baines Intercare Medical Centre, Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe, Speed Bikes, ZimSwitch, People’s Republic of China, Allied Health Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council Masvingo, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe, and FLIMAS.

33-year-old stock broker Monalisa Makutu of Helensvale said cancer awareness in the general population is an absolute essential and the basis on which a cancer-control programme can be constructed.

Makutu who paid for her regalia last Monday, applauded the Zimpapers team for their strenuous efforts in fighting cancer.

“Elements that go into cancer awareness and prevention efforts include knowledge of the problem and its solutions, a group of people who respect and care for the populations they want to serve, and resources,” she said.

“I salute the organisers for their effort in hosting such a feat, it is just that it is an annual thing, rather than done monthly. Awareness campaigns can also be used to source for assistance and resources from governments, non-governmental organisations, and pharmaceutical companies.”

Another fan of the Power Walk Terrence Nkomo of Highfields, a barber who said he has been following and participating in all editions said taking the next step in the fight against cancer is love.

“There’s not much room for disagreement on the issue that cancer is bad, and we need to do something about it.”

“But while everybody will agree that cancer deserves attention and patients deserve support, it can be difficult to touch the hearts and minds of your community.”

“We need to educate first before the walk and I am glad Matanda has been doing that in thepast months as we have seen her with her team, enlightening us about the power walk,” he said.

Nkomo said what he liked most about this was how we were encouraged to save lives.

“Proceeds are going to Island Hospice which is a noble cause. People like to feel part of something bigger, and there is power in numbers.”


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