GOD’S time is the best!
Zimbabwe senior national team captain Felistas Kwangwa, who was mid last year part of the Gems squad that had a joyous first World Cup experience in Liverpool, England, has joined English side Surrey Storm.
In the previous year, Zimbabwe’s world ranking hindered her from joining an English Netball Super League team.
Zimbabwe’s netball team was previously number 14 in the world and they moved two places up the ladder two months ago, a development that has positively impacted on Kwangwa’s intended move to Surrey Storm.
“I’m glad that I have finally got the opportunity to represent my country. I once got the opportunity to move to England soon after the 2019 World Cup but unfortunately, I couldn’t make it because of our World Rankings. We improved our World Rankings two months ago moving to number 12. That is why they (Surrey Storm) came back for me,” said an ecstatic Kwangwa.
She added: “I’m promising to be a good ambassador and do well so that they look for more talent in Zimbabwe.”
The 25-year-old goal defender, who was bred in Bulawayo’s high-density suburb of Njube, was brilliant during 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup, scooping MVP awards against Northern Ireland and Barbados.
In that regard, Surrey Storm coach reportedly approached Kwangwa with an intention to get her signature, hoping Zimbabwe would break into the top 12 in the world.
Hers is a story of a towering girl who was compelled to take up netball by her teachers at Bulawayo’s Mtshede Primary School and Sikhulile High School.
“I grew up in Njube, Bulawayo, went to Mtshede Primary School where I was forced to play netball by my teacher when I was doing Grade 5. I was doing well but I left the game when I proceeded to Sikhulile High. I was so much into athletics but again one of my teachers forced me to take up the sport because of my ideal height,” she told B Metro Sport in July last year.
Her real soft spot for playing netball developed in 2011 when she was part of the Bulawayo Province team that took part in the annual Zimbabwe National Youth Games in Gwanda.
“Special mention goes to my coach Menfree Tanyanyiwa and my manager Lisa Mangena. From 2011 to 2013 I played for Freestars at club level and I later joined Khami Queens. When I got transferred to Harare in 2016, I started playing for Correctional Queens,” said the 1,73 metres tall defender.
Kwangwa, whose family members reside in Pelandaba West, started doing duty for the junior national sides in 2012 at the age of 17. She captained the Golden Girls at the 2014 Region 5 Games and also led the team at the 2018 Junior World Cup Qualifiers in Botswana.
She became part of the senior netball team in 2014 and a year later she was named the vice-captain going on to shine at the 2017 Tri-Nations Tournament and at the 2019 Telkom Tournament in South Africa where she was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) a feat that, with so much ease, she achieved at the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup.