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Econet dangles carrot to upcoming artists through virtual marathon

Econet will channel all proceeds from the recently held ‘Run the Beat’ virtual marathon towards the funding of local and upcoming artists under the company’s music app – Buddie Beatz. The inaugural event that was held last Sunday (December 12), saw over 6 500 athletes battling it out for honours in the 21km half-marathon and the 42km full marathon, as well as in the 5km and 7.5km family ‘fun run’ events

The company confirmed that all upcoming artists subscribed to their Buddie Beatz music application will benefit from the proceeds obtained from the marathon. 

Buddie Beatz is a pioneer of music streaming services in Zimbabwe, with over 45 000 songs and more than 4 000 artists available on the platform, which helped fast-track the adoption of digital music services in the country.

The music content avaialbe on the application includes popular genres like Zimdancehall, Urban Grooves, House, Afro-fusion, Sungura and traditional, Chimurenga and Jazz music. Econet spokeperson said the telecommunications group was commitment to taking its customers along with it on its digital transformation journey.

“Promoting a healthy lifestyle is one of the key tenets of Econet’s corporate culture. We therefore believe there is no better way to inspire our customers to live healthy and positive lives than to host a virtual marathon, at a time normal exercise routines have been restricted by lockdowns intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus,” the company’s spokesperson said.

“We thought we were ambitious by targeting 6 000 runners. But to our pleasant surprise the response was overwhelming, and we got more than that number. So we want to thank everyone –   including our partners – for coming out in their numbers and for valuing their health and wellness at such a time as this,” the spokesman said.

Some of the participants in the Run the Beat Marathon, who included DJ Fantan of Chillspot and musician Mukudzei Chitsama, also known as Holy Ten, could not hide their joy for being part of the inaugural event.

“Thank you Econet for giving us the opportunity to remain fit. We would love to have the race every year,” said Steven Chakwakwama, who took part in the 21km race.

Tagwirei Munyaradzi, captain of the Gweru Runners Cartel, said the event was well organised, and urged Econet to continue hosting the marathon.

“We had sufficient water points and refreshments during and after the race. Runners managed to collect their race packs before the race day and a few collected before race start time. We had many young runners and we are happy our youths are now taking athletics seriously in Gweru.

“It was more than a race as we had entertainment from Gweru Runners Club Music Band all the way,” he said. 

Econet Chief Operating Officer Kezito Makuni was also among those who took part in the virtual marathon.  “It was a tough run. The race course was uphill most of the way, but I stayed focused and was happy to finish the race,” Makuni said.