FORMULA one racing hopeful Axcil Jefferies, who has raised the Zimbabwean flag, with his exploits in motor racing has received the backing of the government after it undertook to support him in mobilising funds as he prepares for his season next month.
Addressing reporters at a news conference in Harare yesterday Deputy Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Tabetha Kanengoni flanked by Deputy Minister of Tourism Walter Kanhanga and deputy minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Mathias Tongofa spoke glowing about the 19-year-old Jefferies and said government is aware of the benefits of supporting him as he has already placed Zimbabwe on the world map.
She also encouraged the corporate world to take advantage and market their products through supporting the Zimbabwean sensation.
“We are very proud of Jefferies for putting Zimbabwe on the world map. It’s good to have your own son competing at this high level. He has the potential to compete at Formula One. Actually we have discovered he is the only African competing at this level.
“We are aware of the benefits of supporting our young man and we have already engaged the head of state and government and I also had a meeting with vice president Joyce Mujuru and they are all happy with him and want to support him.
“We believe motor racing and sport in general can give us a lot of foreign currency and also create employment. We are here to raise funds for Jefferies. We want to encourage other athletes and this helps them to know it can be done,” said Kanengoni.
Jefferies’ father Suhail said his son started the sport as hobby at just six years of age but went on to make history. This is now business than sport. He was sponsored by BMW and when they pulled a plug on Formula One racing we kept the dream alive and had to sell our properties.
“Motor racing is the most supported sport in the world, you can have 450 000 spectators watching the event. I want to say to companies this is an opportunity to advertise their businesses. We have a fantastic opportunity to advertise Zimbabwe. It’s not about Axcil but it’s about Zimbabwe. He is disciplined and a role model. He has been an unofficial ambassador of Zimbabwe through sport. Take advantage of him,” he said.
Axcil said he was happy that this has now become a dream for Zimbabwe and Africa and that his ultimate goal was to set up an academy of excellence to develop engineers and mechanics for the future generation.