The Sunday Mail
FOR Otillia Chadenga siring national high jump champions was never part of her dreams.
In fact, for the bulk of her eldest son’s success-and the formative years of her youngest, she was in a state of confusion.
“My sons have always been very talented at sports my eldest played basketball, while the younger was good at sprints.
“This was back during their primary school days,” said Otillia a former netball player herself.
“I didn’t really get the time to attend most of their sports meets back then,” she said
Fortunately, that all changed when both her sons finished their respective primary education and moved to Prince Edward High School.
And this where their story took a different turn.
Now Otillia is a proud mother to two of the fastest rising sportsmen in the country-Munyaradzi and Kudakwashe Chadenga —whose area of expertise is high-jump.
In fact, both are national champions in their respective age groups, with Munyaradzi the senior men’s national champion and record holder, while Kudakwashe is the Under-18 champion and record holder.
Coincidentally, Kudakwashe’s Under-18 record currently stands at 2.03m, which he broke at the Nash Inter-Schools Athletics finals held at Lomagundi College last year.
The previous best was 1.98m, which belonged to his older brother.
Munyaradzi (21) has led the local charts in the senior men’s category since 2018, and is on the brink of branching out to the region.
Earlier this year he jumped his personal best of 2.10, which is just two centimeters shy of the African Games mark off.
“The goal for this year is to qualify for the African Games, slated for Morocco in August, and I feel very confident about my prospects, “said the older Chadenga.
“I am currently being coached by Keegan Cook, who is an accomplished Decathlon champion, and I have a meet in South Africa next month.
“My personal best currently stands at 2.10m, which is two centimeters off the qualifying mark.
“I have been working hard to improve on that, and I feel very confident about my prospects,” he said.
Sky, as Munyaradzi goes by due to his surname and choice of sport, dreams of opening an academy one day and already doubles as his young brother’s coach.
“I started high jump training myself and would read and collect as much information on that sport as I could, which I would then apply myself.
“I would even watch clips and tutorials of the sport on YouTube,” said Munyaradzi.
“This was before I met Cook, and it is my dream now to make sure that my younger brother has better opportunities than I had.
“Hence my decision to coach him,” he said
Much like he has done throughout his sporting career, the younger Chadenga, Kudakwashe, also dreams of making it to Morocco for the All-Africa Games.
The boy recently returned home from a meet in Botswana with a gold medal, something he hopes will boost his confidence in his quest to make it to Morocco.
“It was a tough meet with the Botswana guys proving to be very good jumpers, “said the younger Chadenga.
“Luckily, I jumped to the best of my abilities and that was good enough to give me the gold medal.
“Now, the target is to qualify for Morocco,’’ Kudakwashe said.