if you were to meet him on a Saturday however, you’d agree his undying love for the racket makes him a whole different person altogether.
Sitting in front of the new look Mufakose tennis grounds which got a facelift recently, Zvaravanhu marvels at the statistics of renowned tennis players that have gone through his hands since the launch of Mufakose’s Ramangwana reAfrica Tennis Academy in 2007.
Zvaravanhu attributes his academic success to the sport which he says moulded him to be a disciplined person despite being born and bred in Mufakose, one of Harare’s notorious suburbs, mostly associated with drunkenness and all sorts of mischief.
“It’s the then minority sport of tennis which made me a different person during my days as a boy. The sport kept me occupied. I attribute all my success, be it academic or in sport, to the sport,” said Zvaravanhu, the current Tennis Zimbabwe (TZ) treasurer.
Zvaravanhu started playing tennis while in Grade five at Chisungo Primary School in Mufakose in 1985. During that time tennis was not popular among black kids, who mostly preferred soccer.
He proceeded to Mufakose High School where he continued to play tennis with other renowned players such as Martin Dzuwa, Peter Nyamande, Claudio Murape (late) and Andrew Mawire.
He then enrolled at the University of Zimbabwe where he continued with the sport. During that time, the pencil slim tennis player started representing the institution in the southern Region tennis tournaments. He was part of the team that went for colleges and tertiary institutions games that were played in Malawi, where they emerged victors.
“I remember representing the UZ at three different southern Region tournaments as well as playing for my school in local tournaments. Back at home, I would spend much of my time with my coach Albert Nhamoyebonde,” Zvaravanhu said.
Zvaravanhu enjoys fruits
Zvaravanhu reminisces of the day he founded the academy which incorporates players from nine primary schools and curves a banana smile reflecting on how he has managed to achieve some of the goals that he set from the first day.
“As I speak, approximately 1 500 junior players have come through my hands with the assistance of my coach Henry Sakala. Apart from that, there are a number of junior players that have come through the ranks of this academy that are now representing the country on the international scene while more than 40 have been identified for further training. We usually deal with 40 children under the age of 14 years at a given time,” Zvaravanhu said.