BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
SHE is known locally as one of the top fitness coaches in the country, but Evonne Mudzingwa’s popularity is beginning to go beyond the gym as she strives to use her love for sport to tackle social ills and raise awareness on important issues.
A fortnight ago Mudzingwa successfully staged the inaugural Eves Tri-Team challenge at Mount Pleasant Swimming Pool to raise awareness on mental health wellness.
This is only one of the several fitness events that Mudzingwa is using to conscientise people on health and social issues bedevilling mankind and society.
Other awareness campaigns include the IGO November Half Marathon, raising awareness on prostate cancer, Eve’s 35km Mazowe Pink Run for breast cancer awareness, FMH Pink Obstacle Race for breast cancer and Eve’s Tri-Team Challenge to raise gender-based violence awareness.
“Eve’s Wellness Boutique has always been innovative with regard to team-based wellness events. After years of hosting several fitness challenges and races, hosting a triathlon seemed like the next best challenge,” Mudzingwa told The Sports Hub.
“This was the second Eve’s Tri-Team Challenge. The inaugural one was in November 2020, a gender-based violence awareness event. Two Eve’s Tri-Team Challenges will be held annually, at the beginning of the year to raise Mental Health Wellness awareness and every November for gender-based violence,” the 46-year-old fitness trainers said.
Interestingly, Mudzingwa’s childhood dream was to become a flight attendant, but she ended up in the corporate world first as a secretary before she ventured into marketing.
But it was only when at 32 she decided she needed a new challenge that everything changed.
“When I was young I wanted to be an air hostess. I thought it was so glamorous and the opportunity to travel the world. In high school I wanted to get in the hospitality industry, then tourism, public relations and marketing. I guess I realised that I enjoyed dealing with people.
“I changed career paths when I was 32 years old. I had worked in the corporate world for about a decade, starting off as a secretary and working my way up into marketing before I quit venturing into outdoor and in-store branding. I needed a new challenge and I realised I could monetise my fitness hobby,” she said.
Mudzingwa has been a group fitness coach and personal trainer for 11 years.
Her Eve’s Wellness brand incorporates fitness studios, the wellness events, sports apparel label EveActive and recently added the South African franchise Run Walk For Life.
She has also won a couple of awards and recognition in the service industry while she was listed as one of the BBCs 100 women of 2021 breaking barriers globally.
But what motivated Mudzingwa to add awareness and charity events to her passion for fitness?
“I am a strong believer in that there is a higher being out there who looks out for us. I have been abundantly blessed in my life and I never take for granted where I am in life, so I always try to find ways to give back to the universe.
“That’s how the idea of creating awareness and raising money for various charity causes through my wellness events was born. Even though I didn’t have money to donate, I have been blessed with the gift to inspire and motivate through my work.
“The corporate world was willing to come on board and that made it possible to keep charity events going. At my studios we had already been having a donations box for orphanages and old people’s homes,” Mudzingwa said.
Mudzingwa looks at herself as a “fitspiration” who inspires and challenges many people across all ages and gender spectrum to be the healthiest and fittest they can be.
The fitness junkie travels around the world participating in ultra-marathons, Spartan obstacle race series and now into triathlons.
Away from fitness, Mudzingwa is a biker.
“The ultimate dream is to be a one-stop wellness shop that encompasses all facets of wellness. My dream is to have an Eves Wellness Boutique in most towns, in Zimbabwe and open EveActive Apparel boutiques as well,” she said.