The Sunday Mail
FOR some, disability is an impediment, but for Chiraurirwa ‘Talent’ Magaba, it makes her a rare and outstanding figure.
She believes that she can easily stand out.
At 35, the deaf and dumb Magaba dreams of making her debut in national team colours.
The urge to play for the country was ignited within her while watching the Gems at the 2019 World Cup finals in Liverpool in July.
The formidable 1,7 metres tall Goal Attacker has played for High Power, Zebra, Mutare Centre, Hilltop and Sanganayi Deaf club.
She now yearns for a chance to prove herself on the national team.
“As a deaf and dump young girl, I used to feel uncomfortable as many people would make fun of me.
“It made me very shy and withdrawn,” said Magaba.
But, her Sakubva Primary School mentor, Mrs Makina, motivated her to play netball so that she could mingle with the other students.
“Mrs Makina was the netball coach then, she asked me to join netball.
“I had no confidence at first, but the more I played, the more confidence I gained,” said Magaba.
Through her netball prowess, her teammates nicknamed her ‘Talent’.
Magaba was forced to drop out of school after completing her primary education as her widowed mother could not afford to finance her secondary education fron her earnings as a domestic worker.
“Mother earned very little from her job as a house maid. Those earnings went towards our upkeep.
“Being the last born in a family of five, I could not proceed to Form 1. That meant, I also had to drop out of netball because at that age, I could only play for a school team,” she said.
Magaba had to endure six bleak years before reviving her netball career.
“After six years, I joined professional netball under Deaf Cobra netball club, before moving to Mutare Centre Netball club.”
During her days at Mutare Centre Netball club, she met her husband, John Wame.
Wame would frequently pass by the netball courts.
His heart was captured by Magaba and there was no going back.
“She was just outstanding. I loved the way she never took her disability as an impediment. I decided that I had to take a chance on her.
“l had fallen in love with her and the sport”
The couple are now parents to two sets of twins.
While both of them are deaf and dumb, all their children are not.
“My wife has proved that she can balance our marriage, the kids and netball,” Wame said.
Away from the pitch, Magaba is a volunteer sign language teacher at Nzeve Deaf Children centre in Mutare.
She still reminisces of the days when she made her maiden appearance at Danhiko Paralympic Games in 2004.
“It was my first appearance in Harare and I did not know what to expect.
“To my surprise, our rival teams had huge bodied players. Back then, I was still very tiny and thin, which automatically thrust me into panic mode.
“I enjoyed none of the games. ln fact, fear was written all over me.
“Unfortunately, even up to this very day, I feel like I cost my team. However, it is that experience that continues to motivate me,” she said.
While the Zimbabwe Netball Association has special umpires for paralympics netball, Magaba is a rare jewel, who also understands umpires who are not equipped with special skills.
Because of that, Magaba can play for any club.
With Gems coach Lloyd Makunde set to search for fresh talent, who knows, Magaba might live her dream and wear the national colours one day.