Fungayi Munyoro Post Correspondent
SHE is devoted in training the youngsters and she spends much of her time on the field of play and on the roads. She also has to juggle between being a mother and coach.
“I am who I am because of my husband,” said Manicaland’s only female cricket coach, Chipo Kanjanda.
“He has always been there for me. I am a cricket coach when I am on the field of play and a mother when I am at home with my family,” she said.
She is full of energy and confidence. Kanjanda has been in the industry for over a decade. She takes this reporter down the memory lane when she was still a player.
“I developed great interests in cricket long back by just watching the game. I thought of giving it a try.
“I first joined Mutare Sports Club in 2003. In 2005, I was selected to play for the provincial team before being drafted into the national team in 2008.I played for the national team for two years before I decided to venture into coaching. In fact, I played cricket so that I become a coach.
“I wanted to gain full knowledge of the game for me to be a competent coach. I started practicing coaching while I was still a player.
That was in 2009. I made it into the national team, but I never toured. Instead of breaking down, I worked hard to become the first female coach in the country under the franchise system,” she added.
Kanjanda is the only female coach in the province with a Level Two coaching certificate and she is very happy about that. She said it was actually an achievement.
“I am very happy to be recognised as the first female coach with a Level Two certificate in the province.
“My role model was Bulawayo-based female coach, Sinikiwe Mpofu who is also a national team coach,” she said.
She said she had enjoyed working with Under-13s up to 19s. Kanjanda also coaches Mutare Sports Club.
“I coach from Under-13 up to 19. I also coach Mutare Sports Club which plays in the first league. I am very happy to be the only female coach with a Level Two certificate, but I am not content with that. I want to work hard and be able to reach Level Four which is the highest level,” she said.
Kanjanda said she had some other options, but she chose to go for a male dominated industry.
She said she was receiving support from her male counterparts.
“In the early days of my career, I coached both girls and boys, so it was easy to coach the men’s side. The boys I coached nine years ago are now the ones I am now coaching at club level. My male counterparts have been so supportive.
We work as a team. One thing that I have discovered is that Sakubva has talent. My target now is to produce many players who will be part of the national team. I want to develop as many players as possible who will be recognized the world over.
“In actual fact, Sakubva is the nerve centre of Mutare cricket,” she said.
Kanjanda is married to Rueben Machucha and the couple is blessed with two sons, Anotida (three) and Anopa (one).