A captain on a mission

Tinashe Kusema
WHEN Charity Mucucuti’s sports journey began 14 years ago, she found herself in pleasant company. When she joined the all-conquering Cameo basketball team, Mucucuti (pictured) formed a bond with three of her teammates. As a collective, Mucucuti, Margret Magwaro, Regina Chisale and Precious Pezani made a lasting impression on women’s sport.
First they conquered local basketball, winning 40 Harare Basketball League and National League titles between them, before taking up rugby.
The story of the four horsewomen, as they are known, has inspired many a female athlete to take up rugby.
But now the 32-year old finds herself short of company.
“Well, I do not know what the future holds for me but I intend to play for as long as my body will let me,” says the Lady Cheetahs skipper.
“I have lost so many of my sisters: Helena (Nyagato), Regina (Chisale) and Patience (Chinhoyi) have all relocated.
They still play basketball but no longer play rugby. As far as Maggie Magwaro and Precious Pezani are concerned, only time will tell.
“Magwaro is with me in camp for this week’s Africa Cup, but it remains to be seen if she will continue playing afterwards.”
Having been used to teammates she could easily relate to, Mucucuti finds herself having to groom the next generation of rugby players.
She will captain the Lady Cheetahs for the Africa Cup tournament at Harare’s Police Grounds.
“I have no plans, immediate or otherwise, to retire,” says Mucucuti. “In fact, God willing, I want to continue playing rugby up until I am 50-years-old.
I actually see my journey just beginning rather than ending or entering into the final phase of my career.” Over the years Mucucuti has had to adjust her game.“I started off as a winger, since I was very fast from my days in school, at David Livingston Primary and later Morgan High School.
“I mostly majored in track and field events and was pretty fast. Unfortunately I have lost some pace over the years and as such moved positions, from wing to prop now.”
While her days are spent as a sales and marketing agent for a shoe shop, after hours she can be found working out.
Fitness is everything to her. “Currently I am doing a power challenge that requires me to do a lot of squats and sit-ups every day.
The target is to do 360 squats and 260 sit-ups a day, but you start slow with maybe 50 and 30 a day and increase the number as you go along.
“Such things have really helped me improve and adapt my game well.
Now, rather than run away from opponents, like I used to do in the wing positions; I prefer to simply go through them,” says Mucucuti.

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