Central has stirred up a lot of attention over the past number of years, some negative, some positive and a few affirming the efforts of individuals and organisations that inspire a common purpose to form a safe and peaceful community living in harmony with the multinational and international population that live, work in and visit this unique vibrant slice of Port Elizabeth.
Central is layered with a diversity of cultures, fashions, generations and different ethnic groups where understanding and respecting and celebrating our differences makes for a unique and spectacular mix of humanity compressed into this small area.
Human nature often directs and inflames differences of culture and appearance to the point where suspicion and a wariness of others build a wall of separation and mistrust between us.
This paranoia isolates us into smaller groups that become difficult to penetrate and obstruct social interactions in the community.
This breakdown of community communications and interactions create a fertile setting for criminals to exploit and intimidate the residents.
The leadership of the Nigerian community living in Central have a vision to use sporting activity as a bridge to be used by their members in forging a spirit of communality between their citizens and the host community and for all other nationalities sharing the Central living space in Port Elizabeth to reach out and join hands in an expression of mutual trust and support for each other.
The desire is aimed at crime prevention, driving out Drugs, Crime and Corruption to create a safe, clean and secure environment for all families living in central, where all people and children can safely walk around and enjoy the parks and experience the vibe unique to central.
They have formed a football group known as “Ohanaeze” Football Team meaning “when the people come together and speak with one voice” the team will start their first game on Sunday 18 August at the 2nd Avenue NMMU campus at 13:00 then a second game starts at 15:00. The community are invited to watch the tournament for free.
The tournament finishes on Sunday 22 September at the Oval sports field in Central with a trophy handover to the winning team. Entry is free
The Nigerian community invite all other nationalities living in Central to organise soccer teams for future “international soccer competitions” in and around the Central and Port Elizabeth environs.
The soccer initiative provides a platform for the multinational community to stand together.
The Community Police Forum through the Sector Policing Forum in Central have reached out to support this unique collaboration in forming a formidable force between the community and law enforcement to drive crime out of the central area.
In the words of Martin Luther King Jr; “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
The MBDA must also be commended for their upliftment projects cleaning the area up and providing the physical structures and space to uplift Central.
The missing link in this chain of sporting fellowship and joining hands is a soccer field for practice and competition.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
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