Emakhandeni lad secures US scholarship

01 Aug, 2021 - 00:08 0 Views
Emakhandeni lad secures US scholarship Zamani Moyo

The Sunday News

Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ZAMANI Moyo, a tennis player from Bulawayo’s Emakhandeni suburb has got a chance of a lifetime after he secured a scholarship to study at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois, United States of America.

The 18-year-old Moyo is heading off to the USA this month where he will take up a two-year associate degree in sciences and also pursue his tennis career. Moyo was assisted by USA tennis coach, Eric Sturgis to obtain the scholarship, which is worth US$11 500 a year.

While Moyo has been granted a USA visa, his family is still yet to raise the US$1 200 for his air ticket. He is required to start at Lewis and Clark Community College on 25 August. One of his coaches, Witness Jiyane, a Zesa employee has pledged US$200 towards Moyo’s air ticket.

Zamani Moyo with his coach Witness Jiyane at a tournament in Harare in 2017


Days before he departs for USA, Moyo is delighted with the opportunity to play tennis at a higher level. He believes the hours that he used to put in at Emakhandeni Tennis Club perfecting his skill are finally paying off.

“I am very excited, I got this opportunity through my hard work, it means I will get opportunities high level tennis. I was recruited by a coach from US who saw me play in an ITF tournament in December 2020, he said I am playing good tennis and he would like me to play for his school in the US,’’ Moyo said.

After the two had been communicating over the phone having been linked up by local tennis coach Zenzo Ndlovu, Sturgis came down from USA to watch Moyo play in an International Tennis Federation junior tournament at the Bulawayo Country Club. Ever since then, he has been financially assisting the youngster to participate in other tournaments.

Sturgis described Moyo as a talented tennis player and his humble background is what moved him to assist him. Moyo lives with his grandfather, his mother is late and his father resides in Nyamandlovu.

“Zamani is extremely talented, has a great feel for the tennis ball. He is very smart on the court and plays a fundamentally sound game of tennis. He is an incredible young man who comes from a humble background, it was my pleasure assisting him,’’ Sturgis said.

Moyo only took up tennis in 2015 when he was in grade six at Emakhandeni Primary School. It was actually his peers who influenced him to take up tennis because he was into athletics and football. When he caught the tennis bug, he dumped athletics and football.

Since he started playing in tennis tournaments in 2015, Moyo has up to date collected an incredible 36 medals, these being 18 gold, 15 silver and three bronze. The biggest achievement for Moyo came in 2018 when he made it into Zimbabwe’s national Under-16 in a regional competition held in Botswana. In 2019, when he was doing form three at Northlea High School, Moyo was the highest ranked Under-18 male tennis player in Zimbabwe.

Jiyane and Thabo Khumalo are the coaches who have played a huge part in Moyo’s career over the years. Fadzai Mawisire and Mkhululi George Sibanda also assisted Moyo with his tactical approach.

Jiyane, who is also the Emakhandeni Tennis Club chairman had this to say “This is a great achievement not for him alone but to the club and community as a whole, this will go a long way in changing his life and it will encourage other kids to emulate him.” — @Mdawini_29.

Eric Sturgis

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