THE late Zimbabwe women’s national team assistant coach Sinikiwe “Sneeze” Mpofu who died on Sunday will be buried in Bulawayo on Wednesday. She was 37.
Her untimely death came barely a month after the passing on of her husband, senior men’s national team fielding coach Shepherd Makunura who died on 15 December
“On Monday, mourners will travel to Bulawayo after postmortem in Masvingo. On Tuesday, mourners from out of Bulawayo can travel to Bulawayo where Sinikiwe Mpofu will lay in state. Sinikiwe Mpofu will be laid to rest on Wednesday morning,” announced Zimbabwe Cricket Women on their social media pages.
Mpofu and Makunura are survived by two children.
Mpofu, born in Bulawayo on 21 February 1985, was a talented all-rounder who was part of the history-making team that represented Zimbabwe Women in their first-ever international cricket match in December 2006.
She started playing the game while she was still a pupil at Mpopoma High School and went on to feature for the provincial side Westerns.
In 2007, she joined Takashinga Cricket Club and also made it into the Northerns team after she moved to Harare to pursue further education.
After ending her playing career, she ventured into coaching and scoring, becoming an integral part of ZC’s game development structures at provincial and national levels.
Mpofu has been part of the technical teams that have seen Zimbabwe Women dominating Africa, earning one-day international status and recently finishing just one win away from qualifying for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
Under her tutelage as head coach, Mountaineers Women won the inaugural Fifty50 Challenge – Zimbabwe’s provincial one-day championship for women – in the 2020/21 season.
Last season, she led them to another final, finishing as runners-up in the Women’s T20 Cup.
“Death has robbed us of a genuinely warm individual, more importantly a loving mother, and deprived so many others, including all of us, of one of the pioneers of women’s cricket in Zimbabwe who went on to excel as a coach at provincial and national levels,” said ZC managing director Givemore Makoni.
“With her sudden passing coming just a few weeks after the death of her loving husband, who was also a part of our national team coaching setup, this is particularly a difficult and painful time for their young children, families, friends and the entire cricket fraternity. In extending to them our heartfelt condolences, we wish them courage and strength to bear this devastating loss,” he added.