It’s early morning at a cemetery in Zimbabwe’s Warren Park, a few miles west of central Harare, and 19-year-old Leslie Madobeko is drenched in sweat after 1 hour of training.
He gets up at 4 a.m. to join dozens of fitness fanatics They run and join aerobics classes In what he admits is an unusual place to try to keep fit.
Many Zimbabweans have started exercising after being isolated during the COVID pandemic. But due to the lack of facilities in the townships, residents had to improvise and the lush, multifaith Warren Hills Cemetery proved a popular place for some, albeit a source of anxiety for others.
People are uncomfortable with a cemetery, but I don’t see anything wrong with coming here. Our people are always superstitious, but we are not afraid,” Madobeko said.
A few steps away from where Madobeko is training, 19-year-old soccer player Tichona Machika is teaching an aerobics class.
“We have more space and calm here. Training at home Machika says:
The Muslim department at the cemetery was kind enough to let us train here and I’m glad more people are joining the class.”
Social work student Agnes Chigonde says the exercises have become part of her daily routine.
“I’m not afraid to walk here alone.”, as you say. “I realized I was overweight, so I decided to come here to do something about it. I am happy with the progress so far.”
(With information from Reuters)
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