Difference between revisions of "Stephen Muzhingi"

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Revision as of 13:27, 20 January 2015

Athlete
Stephen Muzhinji
Stephen Muzhinji
BornStephen Muzhinji
(1980-10-17)October 17, 1980
NationalityZimbabwe
Occupation
  • Athlete
  • Barber
Years active2008 to present
Spouse(s)Erina Muzhinji nee Magwaza
ChildrenMethane Muzhinji

Stephen Muzhinji is an ultra-distance runner who was once a barber in [[Chitungwiza]. He broke the record amongst ultra-distance runners by winning the Comrades Marathon race three consecutive times (2009 to 2011).

Background

Muzhinji claims that he was born on 17 October 1980 although his birth certificate shows that he was born on 17 October 1975. He argued that, when he went with his late mother, Siyai to get a birth certificate in 1993, the officials who attended to them made a mistake.[1] In an interview conducted in 2011, Muzhinji stated that,

I was late in taking my birth certificate and when my mother was asked my date of birth, she used her fingers to count and the officials at the registrar general's office took it to be 1975. I protested but was told that only the mother would know the date of birth of his child. The listed day and month are correct but the year is very wrong since l was born in 1980.[1]

His father died when he was still in Grade Two and his mother, Siyai who died in 2010 took it upon herself to cater for the family.[2] Muzhinji is married to Erina Magwaza and the couple has a son, Methane.

Career

Muzhinji began his career as along distance runner in 2008 when he participated in the Comrades Marathon Race (the world's largest and greatest ultra-marathon race) which is usually held in South Africa. Prior to this, Muzhinji was just a mere barber in Chitungwiza. In 2008, he came third in the competition and he was signed by Bluff Meats club in South Africa which began to train him.[3]

Under the tutelage of Cliff Chinasammy, who was his manager, Muzhinji won the Comrades Marathon race three consecutive times (2009-2011) becoming the first person to do so in the history of the marathon. For this, Muzhinji was nicknamed, 'King of the Comrades'.[4] In 2012, he also became the second person to hold both the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon and the Comrades Marathon titles simultaneously.[5] The first man to do so before Muzhinji was Derek Presis in 1974.[6]

When Muzhinji was basking in glory, he claimed that he turned down South Africa's financial overtures for him to change his citizenship. He was quoted saying,

After coming third in 2008, they came to me and offered me ZAR2 million to change my citizenship and become South African but l decided otherwise. In 2009 and 2010, they increased the amount but l did not give in. It is better to be a hero in my own country than to take up South African citizenship. [3]

From 2012 up to the present, Muzhinji has been performing dismally in the Comrades Marathon Competition. In 2012, Muzhinji's manager claimed that Muzhinji failed to retain his Comrades Marathon gold medal because of a domestic dispute. Muzhinji and his wife quarrelled on how the money from Muzhinji's triumph at the 2012 edition of the competition was to be disbursed.[7] Muzhinji cited that his former club, Bluff Meats had however sabotaged him.[8]

In 2013, Muzhinji finished the race in 10th position.[9] Despite failing to win the title for the fourth time, he was satisfied with his performance. He also argued that he was still recovery from a calf injury. His manager Craig Fry also substantiated Muzhinji's story arguing that he was still in pain when he participated in the competition. After failing to win the Comrades Marathon, he began to prepare for the Nelson Mandela Day Marathon which was held on 25 August.[10] He also failed to make it. In 2014, Muzhinji came forth in the competition.[11]

Successes

Muzhinji was able to buy two house in Chitungwiza with the money he won in 2009 and 2010.[2] He also bought a house in Tynwald in 2011 after winning the Comrades Marathon. His wife was very optimistic that they were to relocate from Chitungwiza to Tynwald as their Chitungwiza home was getting smaller by the day. Muzhinji also bought a Nissan Hard body.[2]

Trivia

In 2011, Robert Mugabe gave Muzhinji US$50 000 at an event which was held at the State House.[2] Vimbai Mutinhiri and Wendall Parsons were also rewarded by Mugabe for representing Zimbabwe in the 2011 edition of Big Brother Africa at the same event.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Stephen Muzhingi’s stunning age revelation, The Standard, published:20 Nov 2011,retrieved:20 January 2015"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Stephen Muzhinji Marathon Runner Millionaire from Barber, The African Millionaire, published:Nov 2011,retrieved:20 January 2015"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Is this the end of Stephen Muzhingi?, Daily News, published:5 Jun 2013,retrieved:20 January 2015"
  4. Chris Ncube, Best of the Best : Stephen Muzhingi, The Zimbabwean, published:17 Dec 2013,retrieved:20 January 2015"
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named abc
  6. STEPHEN MUZHINGI, Who's Who Southern Africa, published:2011,retrieved:20 January 2015"
  7. Zimbabwe: 'Row Disrupted Muzhingi', All Africa, published:1 Jun 2013,retrieved:20 January 2015"
  8. Muzhingi optimistic ahead of Comrades Marathon, NewsDay, published:22 May 2013,retrieved:20 January 2015"
  9. Muzhingi struggles at Comrades Marathon, NewsDay, published:3 Jun 2013,retrieved:20 January 2015"
  10. Henry Mhara, Muzhingi set for Nelson Mandela marathon, NewsDay, published:12 Jul 2013,retrieved:20 January 2015"
  11. Noel Munzabwa, Muzhinji fails at Comrades Marathon, The Herald, published:2 Jun 2014,retrieved:20 January 2015"