Bulawayo football giants Highlanders last week visited the home of a COVID-19 survivor and walked the survivor who was reportedly refusing to go to the shops because people were giving her a “COVID-19 look” to the local shopping center and back while chanting songs of encouragement, The Sunday News reports.
The club led by its CEO Nhanhla Dube who was accompanied by some players visited the home of Case #20, an 11-year-old who together with 4 family members survived the novel coronavirus and walked her to Hillside Shopping Centre as they sang songs of encouragement.
Speaking after their kind gesture, Dube said:
These children are our brand carriers, they carry the flag and represent Highlanders. Why it was important for us is that we realised that society looks at new events or realities by panicking and creating more victims. By so doing we tend to ‘kill’ people more than diseases actually do. It is because we are going to then keep our distance, label them and dehumanize them in the process.
When Covid-19 visited the family, they became the victims and there was no sympathy for them. The net sum is that if we do not assist these affected or infected persons, we also do not learn from this, how to heal and how to also reintegrate those that were affected
We also want to show that we have a humane side. We came to show them that we care for them although we know we cannot heal the pain of stigma.
We cannot be stuck on who had Covid-19, we will now be segmenting society on the basis of diseases. By doing so we are making people live longer with the scars of the disease. We came as Highlanders to uplift an affected family, the strength that we should be as Zimbabweans post covid-19 is based on what we have leant and how we treat each other.
By stigmatizing them, we will be preventing them from accessing medical attention, interacting with the society, community activities, going to church or gym to name a few. This is an opportunity to learn and correct our mistakes associated with stigma,
The minor, case #20 thanked Highlanders and said she was happy they spent the day with her:
Thank you, Highlanders, for coming to spend time with me, you have shown love that I will never forget. Thank you for the uplifting words, they are a treasure.
To those that are victims, there is life after Covid-19, stay strong knowing that there are people like Highlanders Club who are ready to walk with you saying no to daughter. It was amazing to walk with the team because it made me feel like a celebrity for a moment. I was the youngest but they respected me so much.-The Sunday News