Muzemba juggles basketball, marriage

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When women venture into sport, their talent sometimes go down the drain due to pressure of work or marriage.

But they would have shown great potential and passion for a particular sport while still at school.

At the age of 34, female basketballer Sincengile Mzemba has seen it all in the sport, juggling her life, successfully between marriage, work and the game she loves so much.

Born on June 6 1976 in Bulawayo, Mzemba passion for sport started when she was doing her primary education at Baines Primary School.

She was multi-talented doing hockey, athletics, swimming and playing marimba. Mzemba began playing basketball at Northlea High School when she was in form one.

“At primary school we did not have basketball. When I moved to Northlea High I developed an interest in basketball. I was short but my coach urged me to try the sport and that is how I started playing,” she said.

Mzemba said she drew her inspiration from Edith Mahlangu who was a teacher at Northlea.

“Mahlangu inspired me because she had learnt at Northlea and played basketball there. When she came back to teach she was still playing. That motivated me to take up the sport seriously,” said Mzemba.

With that inspiration, she joined Peking Stars and by 1990 she had made it into the provincial under 16 and under 18 squads.

She played for Giants in 1999; the same year she got married. When she moved to stay in Redcliff Kwekwe, she joined Redcliff Steelers a men’s team which she coached.

“It was a big challenge to coach the men’s team. But I was able to because I had a well disciplined team,” she said.

In 2007 she was elected as chairperson of Bulawayo Basketball Associations while she holds the post of BBA vice presidency today. She holds the post of treasurer in the national association.
She played for Giants and Queens before she took another break in 2008 when she had her second child.

“As soon as my baby was crawling I went back to play for ALCC. We had a very good team and we came fourth team at national level three times,” she said.

She was to later move to Reddz as she wanted to teach the youngsters how to play the sport.

Last year she joined Highlanders where she plays alongside Ancilla Chivero, Seldom Woods and Jacqueline Phenduka. Mzemba also coaches a men’s team Sentinels which was founded by the late Dinx Mabhena.

She urged schoolchildren to take part in sport as it can open doors for them.

“Sport is good because it kept me busy and out of trouble and healthy. It also afforded me a chance to travel outside the country,” she said.

Mzemba attributed her success to her supportive husband.

“It has not been easy for me as I have a family but I have a very supportive husband who has contributed to me coming this far,” said Mzemba.