Grappling with youth delinquency in Zomba

CHISAKA—We received reports

By Solister Mogha:

Golf clubs all over the world are known to be arenas for the ‘top of the class’ sport of golf. They are believed to be places where the ‘big shots’ in society mix and relax from their heavy and daily workloads and share business ideas as well as opportunities.

However, Zomba Golf Club has a very different meaning of what golf clubs are supposed to offer.


Apart from the actual game played sporadically, the club has become a meeting place for the youth who are indulging in all forms of immoral behaviours.

Teeing-off is a common word in golf courses which literally means playing the game with the golf stick.

At Zomba Golf Club, the majority of the youth are ‘teeing off’ their bodies by engaging in sexual activities openly, smoking marijuana (chamba) and drinking all types of alcohol.


Standing at the District Commissioner’s office on Saturdays and Sundays, you would evidently see children as young as 12 years girls and boys in droves like groups flocking to the club.

A visitor would think there is a golf tournament at the club or a music concert or perhaps a wedding ceremony.

The youth from known townships of the city such as Chikanda, Mpondabwino, Chinamwali, Three Miles and Ndola clad in modern attire with their backpacks strapped to their shoulders converge here to ‘destroy’ their future.

Visiting the golf club, you are greeted with shock: sex in the open is considered a norm, wafts of smoke billowing in the air is believed to be a sign of life and bottles of beer are a symbol of complete relaxation and amusement.

The sad part of it, though, is that even the very young ones, who seem to have no idea about what they are doing and what the future holds for them, are allowed to mingle and initiated into the dirty sexual behaviours.

However, spending weekends at the golf club is not a new thing in Zomba; some residents who have lived in the city for years say this has been a tradition for some time but only that it is getting worse this time.

MacMillan Banda, a motorbike mechanic plying his trade close to the District Commissioner’s office, says for the three years he has been operating at the place, he has been seeing the youth patronising the club in their large numbers.

Banda says at first, he thought boys and girls patronised the club to enjoy the game of golf only to discover later that they were turning the golf course into a drinking joint, a smoking area and an open air ‘brothel’ for their sexual pleasures.

“What disturbs me is how the little ones are getting involved in these immoral activities. For sure, if this will continue for years, we should expect more pregnancies, child marriages, sexually transmitted infections and mental problems in the district,” Banda laments.

Banda appeals to authorities to swiftly act and put a stop to the malpractices, describing the situation as worrisome.

A resident of Sadzi Township, Felix Bwezani, shares Banda’s concerns. He says the rate at which the youth in the district are flocking to the club to ‘relax’ should call for immediate action from authorities to avert trouble.

“I have been monitoring the situation for quite some time now and what I have recently discovered is that it has reached a point where the youth are now competing to show their immoral characters.

“My heart bleeds when I look at the type of their dressing; it is a complete departure from our Malawian culture and tradition. I would like to plead with government to find a way of stopping these immoral behaviours and protect the lives of these young ones,” Bwezani adds.

One of the boys from Chikanda Township, John (not his real name), a regular patron of the club, confesses of the ‘evils’ that happen at the place.

John, 19, blames his present situation on peer pressure, saying the practice has made many young people to be drunkards and drug addicts besides pushing girls into prostitution.

He says most of the youth go to the club to relax and that in the course of relaxing, they are coerced to indulge in all sorts of immoral acts.

“Zomba generally has no recreation facilities for the youth and when we discovered the golf club, we started patronising it and eventually a lot of things started to happen,” he says.

“I would agree that the situation is getting out of hand now because a lot is happening and many young ones, younger than me, are also being brought in the picture,” John adds.

In view of all the activities at the club, one may be tempted to ask: what type of a future generation is the place breeding?

Undoubtedly, another question could be why authorities have paid a blind eye to this and accept to kill the next future generation.

Public Relations Officer for Zomba City Council, Thoko Chisaka, says the council is doing all it can to stop the youth from indulging in immoral acts.

Chisaka points out that the role of the council is to protect and uphold the rights and welfare of all children within the city.

Nevertheless, Chisaka states, it is everyone’s responsibility to protect children from harmful practices and immoral acts.

“We received reports from several stakeholders on the matter at the golf club and we immediately engaged Domino and Gymkhana Club who are owners of golf courses to stop allowing children from patronising the place.

“We agreed that the youth should be sensitised to the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse and also inform them that entry into the golf course would be strictly to only those who play golf,” Chisaka says.

She adds that the city council also directed that Domino and Gymkhana Club should produce posters with messages of stopping people from crossing through the golf course anyhow.

Chisaka says the council has warned of strict penalties to the operators should the youth continue to patronise the place.

Youth Network and Counselling Executive Director, MacBain Mkandawire, describes the golf club situation as unfortunate, calling for swift action from relevant authorities.

However, Mkandawire says Gymkhana Golf Club was not the only place where the youth were indulging in untoward behaviours but that the trend is common across the country.

“We are slowly losing it on the youth; go to Zolozolo in Mzuzu and Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre and you will find young boys and girls mingling every day. If they are having sex, are you sure it is protected sex and what generation are we creating?” Mkandawire wonders.

He says the simple message that the youth were sending to authorities is that they lack recreation facilities and youth-related programmes that would assist in guiding them in their day-to-day life.

“We don’t have systems that would promote good behaviour among the youth. The youth cannot make proper independent decisions and this is why we need counselling, guidance and support programmes all the time,” Mkandawire says.

He further states that Yoneco will soon roll out specific programmes to deal with the challenge of recreation centres to promote youth counselling and guidance.

Senior Chief Malemia of Zomba shares the same concern, saying the way the youth were patronising the club, Zomba is breeding a hopeless generation.

“We need immediate action; otherwise, we are creating problems that we will not be able to address in the future,” the chief says.

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