Youth gambling a hit in ghettos

TAIZIA Rukuru (not real name) is just 12 years old but at that tender age he has already made a name for himself in gambling circles.

Rukuru is a champion when it comes to playing table snooker and even “big” guys in Chitungwiza’s Unit L area think twice before challenging him on the game.

However, Rukuru’s success in betting has not just brought fame and joy to him but also headaches to his mother who is against the culture of betting mainly due to her strong Christian values.
“He has an addiction to gambling. He prefers spending the day at the shopping centre gambling and what pains me most is that his performance in school is constantly getting worse.

“There is no way one can always win in gambling therefore he has developed a tendency of stealing my money on his bad days in gambling,” said his mother Agnes.

Agnes a single mother said she sees no advantages of gambling as his son Rukuru who is in Grade Seven at a school in Chitungwiza never brought money home despite him being addicted to snooker betting.

“They gamble $0,50 per game and I do not see anything of benefit from such games apart from ruining one’s life as people tend to spend much of their time on such games,” she said.
Youths have fallen in love with snooker betting in high density suburbs mainly because the snooker tables are no longer restricted to pubs or bars but are generally located everywhere even on open spaces as enterprising Zimbabweans are trying to eke out a living out of them.

This gives the likes of Rukuru an opportunity to spend his day gambling outside pubs as they are not allowed to enter in the bars due to their tender ages.

Rukuru is not the only one addicted to gambling in ghettos but most of his age mates are. Gambling has been one of the ills of the society since time immemorial but it was confined to grown up persons unlike these days.

The money games have become rampant especially in densely-populated areas as the majority of youths have nothing to do and at the same time some of them need to eke out a living while some just engage in gambling for the love of it.

In densely populated areas gambling is not restricted to snooker games alone but it comes in different forms including soccer betting, playing cards and even chess for others.
In city centres most people are seen in soccer betting shops all-day long trying their luck.

Analysts have attributed high levels of gambling to unemployment in the country.—Vasco Chaya

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