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SPORTS

How Mental & Emotional Agility Won A Budding Tennis Player Silver

by Nkosi Sithole NUST-ZW @grujicrobinho7

How Mental & Emotional Agility Won A Budding Tennis Player Silver
Celine Muzarabani

THE last Zimbabwe Universities Sports Association (ZUSA) games before Covid-19 happened left some athletes disappointed, yet they were a shining light from a peep hole of a narrow tunnel to others.


For Celine Muzarabani, a tennis player and part of NUST Tennis team who dared to reach the ‘sky’ as her nickname plays it out, the award was a silver accolade coveted by many.

I won silver there along with the whole tennis team,” said Celine who is affectionately called Sky by colleagues. “That right there, winning silver, was the best feeling ever, I can’t even explain it,” she added with excitement.

Celine’s top notch performances in the hunger games (ZUSA games 2019) struck the fancy of her former mentor and trainer Keletso Malane. Malane, a tennis coach at Elite Tennis Village based at Whitestone Primary School praised Celine’s effort and sportsmanship.

“She (Celine) is committed, when she decides she wants to do something she puts in the time,” said Malane.

Malane believes that Celine has capabilities to do well in varsity sport format.

“I would say if she continues putting in the effort and the required time required for the sport, in three years she can represent the Zimbabwe varsities team,” added Malane.

The drive to excel

Celine is a player who has stayed sharp, focused and has an edge over other players because of her positive attitude despite the fact that the she lives with a condition that typically causes emotional and psychological distress in others.

The budding tennis player has Alopecia Areata – a disorder in which the hair sheds off from the scalp. As a result, some people with the condition experience depression, anxiety, withdrawal and isolation.

“My hair condition affects everything that concerns me but I’ve learnt to deal with it in the years,” proclaimed Celine.

The student further attributed her success to emotional and mental agility. “I think being strong emotionally and calculative mentally have helped me to stay focused and sharp in the game,” said Celine.

A supportive family and a good mentor

How Mental & Emotional Agility Won A Budding Tennis Player Silver
Celine ‘Sky’ Muzarabani

Not only is the loss of hair a motivation for her to perform, her family and friends in the sport are her biggest motivation too.

Celine is happy to have worked with her former trainer, Malane, who encouraged and supported her always.

“Malane saw so much potential in me,” maintained Celine. “He would help me with practice, tell me that I was a good player and that I can win every game even after having lost so badly,” she added.

“My family definitely is the force behind my success because they always tell me that they are proud of me and they always push me when I feel like I cannot and, I think that has brought me this far,” said Celine.


The former Coghlan Primary School and Usher Girls High School student started plying her trade in the sport at an early age.

“I started playing tennis due to the interests I had in the sport when I was at primary school but I was very inconsistent so I stopped, then got back to it when I was in form three and went back to it when I was in lower sixth after a short break in play,” said Celine.


Celine wishes to excel academically and also in sport so that she would be in a position to give back to the community.

“I hope to excel so much that I’ll be able to be in a position where more people recognise my efforts and also that I want to be able to give back to the community and people that have put so much for me to grow and excel,” claimed Celine.



Celine also hopes that the NUST tennis team makes headlines and does rounds in the media.


“In the next five years I want to see NUST tennis team in newspapers, national and international television and to be considered the best players country wide,” said Celine.

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PROFILE SPORTS

MEET The NUST SOCCER TEAM CAPTAIN: RUNYARARO MANDAZA

by Nkocy Sithole | Nust- ZW @grujicrobinho7
Runyararo Gift Mandaza

The National University of Science and Technology (Nust), is abound with raw talent.

Runyararo Gift Mandaza, a twenty-two-year-old soccer player
is one out of the many gifted youngsters at the institution.


Because of his deft touches in the field and ability to command, the up-and-coming soccer star has been given the responsibility to captain the NUST soccer team.


His teammates appreciate the efforts that he puts in during training sessions and games.


“Exemplary, hardworking and his hard work motivates the team and carries it too,” said Keith Tendai Moyana, one of his teammates.
“He is a very good captain,” added Moyana.


Not only are his teammates impressed by his efforts but they are also in full praise for his ball retention and other central midfielder attributes.


“He has a very long accurate passing range and he retains the ball well in the midfield,” said Clyde Isaac, another teammate.


Mandaza started playing football at a young age and has only had love for one sport. He says he was lured into football at his young age by his primary friends.


“Well I started (playing) soccer at a young age in the streets. It has always been my passion since and I never tried other sports. I grew to love the sport and I hope to pursue this career as a soccer player,” said Mandaza.


“So, my friends motivated me to come and join the soccer team at Ruvheneko primary and that is what unveiled the soccer passion in me,” claimed Mandaza.


The former Ruvheneko Primary School player is a well gifted and also a hard worker player who seemingly posses both Messi and Cristiano’s attributes of talent and hardwork.


“I think I have both attributes, I am naturally talented and at the same time I do train a lot on my techniques and fitness levels,” said Mandaza.


Being a player who is naturally gifted and a hardworker, it comes as no surprise that his role models are people who also fit that billing.


“My role models are Clemence Matawu and Cristiano Ronaldo because I admire their dedication and hard work in the field. I also admire Ronaldo’s determination and the way he concentrates on what he wants to achieve as a footballer. To me this is quite appealing”, added Mandaza.


His only cup win came with Churchill High School where they won the 2012 edition of the NASH U17 soccer tournament.


In 2017, he enrolled with NUST to pursue a degree in Statistics and Operations Research.


Mandaza is a young man who has his life planned out, how he wishes and wants it to be like in future on and off the pitch.


“I do hope to be able use my degree and my talent at the same time after graduation because I have entrepreneurship in mind for the future,” maintains Mandaza.


Mandaza is very optimistic and hopeful of a brighter future for the Nust soccer team.


“It would be a great opportunity for Nust to go back to division one and maybe a promotion into the top-flight league because that will give more exposure to the great talent at Nust,” said Mandaza.


But before all this happens for Nust, Mandaza feels attitude and approach of the university to football matters has to change.


“I think with proper training and humility, NUST may be dominating university in the years to come,” the captain pointed out.


Mandaza still thinks that grassroot soccer in Zimbabwe has to be prioritised so as to be able to identify and nurture talent in the country at earlier stages.


“I think proper training facilities for grassroots would be a start with the aid of talent identification strategies would also help,” Mandaza said.


The NUST soccer captain has set the horizon as his limit for what he can do in the world of football and he is very hopeful of a success story.


“I do hope to play in the national league and also even play internationally in the coming years,” the NUST captain pointed out.