Health

Cemetery is used as a gym due to lack of places in Zimbabwe

It’s early morning in a cemetery in Warren Park in Zimbabwe, a few miles west of central Harare, and 19-year-old Lesly Madubeko is drenched in sweat after one hour of training.

He wakes up at 4 am to join dozens of fitness fanatics who they jog and join aerobics classes in what he admits is an unusual place to try to keep fit.

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Many Zimbabweans are starting to exercise after being in lockdown during the COVID pandemic. But due to a lack of facilities in the townships, residents have had to improvise and the leafy multi-faith cemetery of Warren Hills is proving a popular spot for some, if a little worrying for others.

People are uncomfortable with the cemetery, but I don’t see anything wrong with coming here. Our country people are always superstitious, but we are not afraid,” Madubeko said.

A few steps from where Madubeko trains, soccer player Tichaona Macheka, 19, is teaching an aerobics class.

“We have more space and it’s quiet here. train at home it means noise for our neighbors,” says Macheka.

The Muslim section of the cemetery was kind enough to let us train here and I am glad that more people are joining the class.”

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Social work student Agnes Chigunde says the exercises have become part of her daily routine.

“I’m not even afraid to walk here alone”, she says. “I realized that I was overweight, so I decided to come here so that I could do something about it. I’m happy with the progress so far.”

(With information from Reuters)

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