Shingi Matibiri, Sports Reporter
United Kingdom based Zimbabwean tennis umpire Kossam Mhangami says he feels honoured to be flying the country’s flag high officiating at the prestigious Wimbledon Championships in London.
Mhangami who was born in Gokwe and attended school in Sanyati before relocating to the United Kingdom said he hopes that his achievements will inspire some Zimbabweans to aim higher and achieve better things in life despite their backgrounds.
“Can you imagine a boy from Masutu village in Gokwe Democratic Republic is here at Wimbledon, the all England Club. It’s unbelievable, I never thought this was possible. I only picked up a racket as a 14 year old at Sanyati Secondary School just to play the game for fun but now I’m at the world famous Wimbledon,” Mhangami said.
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“You can imagine how all the guys at Masutu village in Gokwe will be feeling? Very, very proud that their son is representing them at Wimbledon.
“There is no better place in tennis than at Wimbledon, I have officiated some of the top players in the world, Rafa Nadal, Rodger Federer, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Andy Murray, Venus Williams, Novak Djokovic. I have been with them on the court. So I’m super proud.”
Mhangami who won the official of the year award in the prestigious Surrey Tennis Awards, which complement England’s LTA awards in 2020 is the brains behind the establishment of the Ngoni Kufa Trust which is spearheading tennis development in rural Zimbabwe.
The Ngoni Kufa Trust which was named after the late umpire Kufa who was the first Zimbabwean to officiate at the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992, has established state of the art tennis courts at Chiguvare Primary School in Sanyati to give a platform to rural kids to blossom in tennis.