The Sunday Mail
PLATINUM QUEENS Wing Defender Nyasha Manyati is perhaps one of the brightest netball hopefuls in the country.
A rare talent that manifested in the gutters of rural Wedza back in 2004 and could go down in history as one of the country‘s finest midcourt talents the nations desperately needs.
Nicknamed “Khedha” for her complexion, the 24-year-old Manyati has been bossing the show ever since she arrived at Zvishavane based Platinum Queens at the beginning of the year.
“I started playing netball in 2004 when I was in Grade 4 at St Margaret’s in Wedza although I did not take it seriously back then.
“My mother, Beullah Koromora used to play during her school days in Masvingo and despite aging, her love for the sport remained undeterred.
“Her passion for netball was and is still visible… she could follow school games and sometimes train with my school mates just to motivate the team and that gave me the urge to try it out,” she reckons.
At St Margaret’s Secondary School, Manyati made waves as a lethal defender which earned her a spot in the Mashonaland East provincial team.
This was the turning point for a determined “Khedha.”
“That opportunity turned my life around; I remember how my mother used to tell me to pray for right choices and how she made sure my school work never lagged behind.
“Unlike other parents, since day one, she supported my netball career, but what she wanted was for me to balance both sport and school,” she said.
In 2011, Manyati made it into Mashonaland East final squad and played at the national youth games in Gwanda.
“I went there with an urge to shine and indeed the gods smiled at me. That was my first encounter with renowned Goal Shooter Paidamoyo ‘Soja’ Tinoza who played for Masvingo Province then. I was her opponent.
“We lost 25-6 but of all the teams that played against Masvingo we were the team that scored best. I won Pamushana hearts and was offered an Advanced level scholarship. Since then I never turned back,” said the defender.
From then, she made waves in Masvingo winning several accolades before enrolling at the University of Zimbabwe in 2014, from where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics, Portuguese and Shona.
It was during her days at the university that she propelled the institution team to a daunting powerhouse.
Despite having a bright future outside netball as a degree holder, her parents feel she should simultaneously chase her netball dream.
“My parents always encourage me to uphold both, they barely miss my local games,” said the Platinum Queens player.
Motivated by senior national team goal defender Felistas Kwangwa, Manyati’s dream is to feature in national team colours.
Ironically, she plays the same position as the youngest Gems player and teammate Claris Kwaramba and she feels the power is contagious.
“I am not saying I want to outplay Kwaramba, we play under the same club, I learn a lot from her because she has the experience and I think some of her lethal power is spilling on me.
“I admire how they pull it off in the mid defensive court together with Kwangwa and would want to see myself there too one day or even beyond borders,” said Manyati.