by Nkosi Sithole NUST-ZW @grujicrobinho7
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
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.