HARARE - CAPS United and Zimbabwe fullback Hardlife Zvirekwi says he will request more time on the side-lines after deciding to join the medical male circumcision bandwagon by getting circumcised at Harare's City Centre Male Circumcision Site yesterday.
His two-week old son, David, was also scheduled to undergo the procedure at Edith Opperman in Mbare yesterday.
ALL SMILES: CAPS United fullback Hardlife Zvirekwi, right, and wife Sarudzai, left, pose for a photo at Harare City CentreMale Circumcision Site yesterday. Picture: Idah Mhetu
Zvirekwi, who settled for the surgical method, said the decision is primarily for his family’s benefit.
“I recently got married and have been blessed with a handsome son. I have taken this decision to protect my wife from the risk of cervical cancer and improve my personal hygiene especially during sessions,” he said.
“And you know I cannot preach what I do not live. So after discussing it with my beautiful wife, we agreed I should do it,” he said, squeezing Sarudzai Zvirekwi’s right hand with baby David in his lap soon after the procedure.
Population Services International Zimbabwe (PSI) male circumcision programmes manager Roy Dhlamini said: “For the first time we have a soccer star taking up male circumcision.”
Zvirekwi joins other celebrities such as musicians Winky Dee, Suluman Chimbetu, Albert Nyathi and Fungisai Mashavave as well as disc jockeys Thabani Gambiza and Napster, who have been spearheading the pro-circumcision campaign through their careers.
Government, working with partners, launched a massive circumcision campaign in 2009 targeting at least 1, 2 million men by 2017 in a bid to stem the rise in new HIV infections across the country.
With the country’s new football season set to begin this month— it remains unclear how Zvirekwi will manage to play. The surgical procedure healing requires six weeks.
But Zvirekwi said: “My coach had given me two weeks breaks but I am already one week into the break. I will try to negotiate for more days.”
The country decided to embark on the campaign to circumcise about 80 percent of young men after a study found that the one-off procedure reduced the chance of contracting HIV by 60 percent.