THANKS to Darlington Majonga for the piece “Blacks masked lack of seriousness in tennis”, (Zimbabwe Independent, April 7).
That’s the first time someone has told the truth about tennis in Zimbabwe.
When former Zimbabwe Olympic Committee president
, Paul Chingoka, returned from the Athens Olympics accompanying our sole gold medallist, Kirsty Coventry, he was asked by the awed President Robert Mugabe at a reception at State House: “How did you do that?”
Guess what his unashamed answer was? “I did it like I did with tennis.”
Needless to say the old man was extremely happy and, loosely or jokingly, he called Chingoka “our Minister of Sports”.
That’s how the man started walking on springs, antagonising everybody, telling everyone who cared to listen that he was the next Minister of Sport and would be taking over from “that idiot”.
The fact is that both Chingokas (Paul and Peter) have been living a lie. The Blacks were made by none other than their father, Don. He trained them personally. He drove their ambition.
Don himself had been a player at Wimbledon and he wanted his children to fulfil his ambition. And that they did.
But who claims the kudos?
Paul Chingoka and his bunch of inept Tennis Zimbabwe administrators.
The same goes for cricket. In all fairness, what has Zimbabwe Cricket contributed to the wonderful progress of the game over the past 15 years? Zilch.
Yet all these years we heard how ZC had created a pool of future players through a system of grassroots development. We were told about the great developments in the game which had created the likes of Tatenda Taibu and Henry Olonga. Bunkum.
These kids just went to the kind of schools that played the game and their progress in the sport was driven more by personal ambition and personal love for the sport.
Now, the handful of cricketers who have been “holding our sky” have withdrawn their labour. See what has happened to cricket in our beloved country.
A few individual sportsmen, motivated by their own families, their love for the country and personal development, put us on the tennis and cricket world maps. The leadership of the two organisations were contented with that, as long as it gave them access to “the top”.