Running from Rushinga to Colombia

24 May, 2015 - 00:05 0 Views
Running from Rushinga to Colombia Nomatter Kapfudzaruwa

The Sunday Mail

Nomatter Kapfudzaruwa

Nomatter Kapfudzaruwa

FROM rural Rushinga in Zimbabwe to the sprawling city of Cali via Rediut in Mauritius, so runs the journey of a determined teenage athlete.

Born 17 years ago in the remote area of Dambakurima Village, Nomatter Kapfudzaruwa is taking steps towards greatness.

After winning silver and bronze medals at the Africa Youth Championship in Mauritius last month, Kapfudzaruwa has her sights firmly on the World Youths Championship set for Colombia in July.

The teenager, who only got to wear running spikes this year, is pushing herself to the limit as she seeks a better living through athletics.

Kapfudzaruwa lost both parents when she was just five. And she has been determined to carve her own space in the world ever since.

She wakes up at 5am every day and takes to the nearby Katakura Primary for jogging and drills.

The promising athlete is never short of encouragement during her workouts.

“Everyone in the village is happy for me and they are urging me to continue working hard,” she smiles. “My friends are also inspired and some have decided to take to athletics after I told them about Mauritius and its beautiful beaches.

“No matter where you come from or your background, if you are determined you can achieve whatever you want,” says the Form Two pupil at Katakura Secondary.

You can feel it — there is something special about this kid.

After the hour-long morning workout, Kapfudzaruwa goes for classes before changing back into training gear for an afternoon session that usually runs from 2pm to 5pm.

Her work ethic explains why she was a double-medal winner at the 2nd Africa Youth Championships.

“I am happy with what I achieved at the championships. I wanted gold, of course, but unfortunately I felt so tired towards the finishing line and managed to come second in 59,03 seconds,” says Kapfudzaruwa, who also won bronze in the relay.

Fresh from Mauritius, she competed at the Cossasa games in Lesotho where she ran 400m in 56,82 seconds to qualify for the World Youth Championships.

Her big dream is to become one of the top athletes in the world.

But there is a more immediate wish.

“I wish I could get a scholarship to a boarding school, maybe in Harare, for more exposure in athletics. However, I am grateful to a number of people who have helped me to be where I am right now, including Camfed, who are paying my school fees,” she says.

Kapfudzaruwa also dreams of becoming a member of the Zimbabwe National Army because she believes “being a soldier is a sign of bravery and patriotism”.

National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe director of youth coaching Briad Nhubu reckons their outreach programmes are slowly bearing fruit.

“To have a girl from Rushinga competing at such a stage shows that we are spreading the net very wide in search of talent. It’s encouraging and we will continue to do so.

“Nomatter put up a impressive performance in Mauritius and we will be monitoring her every move to ensure that she realises her full potential.”


‘My niece has a strong heart’

Sports Reporter

NOMATTER’S uncle Elphas Kapfudzaruwa hails the athlete for her resilience and determination.

Elphas took custody of the promising athlete when she lost both parents at the age of five.

The journey hasn’t been easy, but Elphas says his niece has tough skin and a strong heart.

“She is a determined girl,” he says. “There have been some tough times in our lives and you could tell that being an orphan was affecting her, but I would encourage her to keep working hard.

“I noticed her talent when she was in Grade Six and decided to support her. She is a humble girl who has persevered and worked hard to be where she is now.

“It has been hard for her being the only child since her brother went AWOL, while some relatives have not offered any support.”

Nomatter’s athletics journey is now set to take her to the World Youth Championships in Colombia in July.

How is that for Uncle Elphas, who was over the moon with her participation at the Africa Youth Games in Mauritius last month?

“When she qualified for Mauritius I was happy and when she returned with medals I was more than happy . . . I wish her the best in Colombia. My wish is to see her continue shining and prospering in her athletics; hopefully she can get a scholarship and go further.”

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