1st Edition

Football, Gambling, and Everyday Life in Zimbabwe

Edited By Manase Kudzai Chiweshe Copyright 2024

    As unemployment soared in Zimbabwe in the early twenty-first century, betting on football/soccer emerged as a popular, if unsustainable, livelihood option, and the number of betting halls mushroomed. This book investigates this growing social phenomenon, providing a holistic analysis of football gambling in Zimbabwe and exposing its impact on the everyday lives of Zimbabweans.

    Drawing on original empirical and theoretical analysis from across six different areas of Zimbabwe, the book highlights the lived experiences of communities that are only beginning to grapple with the long-term effects of addiction. Explaining its historical origins in the colonial and immediate post-colonial periods, the authors delve into the motivations, patterns, practices, and impacts of soccer betting. Tackling issues such as gender, livelihoods, addiction, religion, and tradition related to soccer betting, the book lays bare the general lack of policy frameworks and support services to protect vulnerable populations.

    This book offers a rare glimpse into a sociological phenomenon sweeping across Zimbabwe, with a particularly stark impact on the country’s youth. It will interest sports and African studies researchers, as well as those focusing on the socio-health problems related to gambling.

    1. Becoming a betting nation: An introduction.

    Manase Kudzai Chiweshe

    2. Playing the Odds: The rise of soccer betting houses as a livelihood option in Harare, Zimbabwe

    Manase Kudzai Chiweshe

    3. “Just like the boys”: An analysis of the experiences of females involved in football betting in Harare, Zimbabwe.

    Tafadzwa Blessing Choto

    4. Sports Betting in Low-Resource-Income Urban Area: A Case of Budiriro 5B Current Shops

    Praise Karuma

    5. “He bets when he wants to!” The effects of football gambling in Chinhoyi through the eyes of concerned significant others

    Washington Chirambaguwa

    6. From “Male holy trinity” to “Fourth Estate.” A case study of the nature, scale and patterns of football gambling in Chinhoyi.

    Washington Chirambaguwa

    7. Soccer betting in peri-urban spaces in Zimbabwe: Experiences from Domboshava

    Manase Kudzai Chiweshe

    8. “iEconomy! Vapfanha vari kuzama lucky!” Youth economic exigencies, football gambling cultures and experiences in Gweru, Zimbabwe.

    Gerald Dandah


    Manase Kudzai Chiweshe is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Social and Community Development, University of Zimbabwe. He won the 2015 Gerti Hesseling Prize for Best Paper Published in African Studies. His work revolves around the sociology of everyday life in African spaces, with a specific interest in football and sports studies.