By Kisset Chirengende
Zimbabwe is what would be considered a small country in terms of population, yet it consistently churns out world class talent in both the market place and the arts/sports arena.
This blows my mind considering how scarce the resources needed in the formative years (at grassroots level) are due to the economic climate that has been prevalent for the last decade or so.
In sports we have had the likes of Peter Ndlovu, Benjani Mwaruwari and Bruce Grobbelaar who made their mark in arguably the most recognizable football league in the world.
Beast Mtawarira has broken all kinds of records by becoming the most capped Springbok prop of all time and is on the verge of becoming a centurion this summer, only 53 players in World Rugby history have surpassed the tier 1 100-test mark and a Zimbabwean is 2 tests away from achieving that, bongus!!
Along with Beast , you have David Pocock regarded as one of the finest opensides in the world, Tonderai Chavhanga who still holds the record for most tries by an individual in a single test, Brian Mujati who was regarded as one of the best tightheads in his prime, and Ray Mordt, Gary Teichman, Adrian Garvey, Dave Denton, Kyle Godwin, Marco Mama, Don Armand, Dave Ewers, Kai Horstman, Takudzwa Ngwenya are others on a seemingly endless list of Zimbos who have played the game of rugby at the highest level.
It would be remiss of me if I didn’t mention a golf great like Nick Price, swimming sensation Kirsty Coventry, cricketers Andy Flower, Gary Balance, Brendan Taylor, Hamilton Masakadza, Tatenda Taibu etc, the Black family in tennis, Eliot Mujaji, Brian Dzingai, Stan Madiri in athletics, Stansly Maponga in the NFL and many more.
In Hollywood you have the great Danai Gurira, who’s character in the Walking Dead is absolute boss and her legendary status is now further enhanced by her leading role in the blockbuster marvel, Black Panther. Tongayi Chirisa has flown the flag high and continues to do so along with Thandi Newton, Chipo Chung, Sibongile Mlambo among others
In music you have the legendary Tuku, Tinashe and Shingai Shoniwa among those making waves on the international scene musically.
I have not even mentioned world shapers like Dr Strive and Mrs Masiyiwa (who’s philanthropic work and business acumen is literally changing lives), but these few names mentioned prove how blessed with power gifts Zimbabwe is.
For a small landlocked country this is beyond impressive and there is need to bring these big gifts together from time to time in a setting that allows them to celebrate their gifts with those they share the same heritage with.
It is particularly important for their achievements to be heralded for the next generation to be inspired and know that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.
To borrow a phrase from John 1 v 46, ‘is there anything good that can come out of Zimbabwe? Come and See!!
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