Margret Bangajena
Bangajena.jpg
BornMargret Bangajena
(1977-05-14)May 14, 1977
Chinhoyi
NationalityZimbabwean
EducationCentenary Primary School
Alma materMvurwi Secondary School
OccupationSeed Analyst Assistant and Sportsperson
EmployerMinistry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement
Known forWinning nine Annual National Sports Awards (Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability) in a row
ChildrenTawanda


Margret Bangajena is a Zimbabwean wheelchair racing champion who has been awarded eleven Annual National Sports Awards (ANSA) (Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability) in her career and she is the reigning holder of the award after being announced the winner in February 2020. She was part of the first Para-Rowers team to emerge from Zimbabwe in the All Africa Games in Maputo in 2011 and also took part at the Italy Para-Rowers World Cup 2016 and plays wheelchair basketball too.

Background

Wheelchair racing champion Margret Bangajena was diagnosed with Osteogenic sarcoma – a cancer that affected her bones @15 in 1993. She was later amputated and she thought that was the end of the road for her but little did she know that God had other plans.[1] Apart from sport, she is also a mother to Tawanda and works in the Ministry of Agriculture and Mechanisation.

Career

Bangajena developed an interest in sports in 2000 when she enrolled at Ruwa Rehabilitation Center of Schooling. “Before my leg was amputated I had little interest in sports but it all changed when I enrolled at Ruwa Rehabilitation Centre of Schooling. “I started developing interest in sports, especially wheelchair basketball but later on I fell in love with wheelchair racing. “I also play basketball (professional) but I like racing more because it’s an individual sport,” she said.

The turning point of her career came in 2009 when she represented Zimbabwe in South Africa, winning a gold medal in a maiden appearance outside the country’s borders. “I was so excited to be representing my country outside, and what made the maiden appearance so special was that I won gold in a 42 km race,” said the athlete. She reckons striking gold in South Africa opened a world of new possibilities, marking her journey to stardom. “That is when I was nominated Sportswoman of the Year with disability for the first time. Ever since then, I have won the award and I am looking forward to winning it again this year,” said Bangajena.

In 2011, she was part of the first Para-Rowers team to emerge from Zimbabwe and took part at the Italy Para-Rowers World Cup. She also took part in the 2016 Brazil Paralympic Games. Bangajena had set her sights on the forthcoming 2020 Paralympic games in Tokyo but where pushed further to 2021 to the Coronavirus pandemic. She is a living sports hero in the country who deserves a lot better than token trophies.[2]

Apart from sport, Bangajena is a mother to Tawanda and a Seed Analyst Assistant in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.

Paralympics Success

Zimbabwean athlete Margret Bangajena won a bronze medal at the World Paralympics Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai in the 800 metres T53/54 wheelchair event on 10 February 2021. The World Paralympics Athletics Grand Prix runs from 6 to 14 February 2021.

Awards

  • Won a bronze medal at the World Paralympics Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai in 2021
  • Annual National Sports Awards (Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability) x11
  • Gold medal 42km race in South Africa (2009) which set her rolling in her career outside of Zimbabwe
  • She said she has more than 150 gold medals in the local races in her career
  • More than 15 gold medals OCC and Soweto races in SA.

Picture Gallery

Margret Bangajena
Bangajena Margret
Margret


References

  1. Don Makanyanga, [1], The Sunday Mail, Published: 10 December, 2017, Accessed: 12 May, 2020
  2. Tinashe Kusema, [2], Sunday Mail, Published: 17 December, 2017, Accessed: 12 May, 2020