If ever there was an athlete who proved how a great showing at the Netball World Cup could change a career, it would be Felisitus Kwangwa.
The Zimbabwe captain was a stand out player of the 2019 tournament, impressing on defence and earning three Player of the Match accolades in her nation’s first Netball World Cup.
Her outstanding performances caught the eye of the team management at Surrey Storm and, after the Covid-19 pandemic and some admin issues were dealt with, Kwangwa became the first Zimbabwean to play in the UK’s Netball Super League, where she continued to stand out for her defensive prowess.
Last month, Kwangwa was also appointed Brand Ambassador for Kingdom-based insurance and risk management firm Diaspora Insurance which now covers Dispora communities of some 12 African countries.
“I’m incredibly humbled and thankful to Diaspora Insurance for trusting me as their brand ambassador. I hope that I will represent its brand in a positive light,” Kwangwa said at the time.
Now, the 28-year-old goal defence is determined for her side to once again leave their mark when they take on the world at the Netball World Cup 2023 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre this month.
“Zim is to bring the Cup home, and if not, at least to do better than at our previous World Cup,” said the confident Kwangwa, who led her side to eighth place in 2019.
“The team comprises great players with so much potential, and I think we are going to give our personal best, which will help us to do better than in the previous tournament.”
The captain acknowledged that the road to Cape Town hadn’t been an easy one for Zimbabwe.
“From the previous World Cup there have been quite a number of new young players in the squad,” she said.
“Unfortunately, we only got one Test series in preparation for the tournament, and I think it’s also hard for the coaches or anyone else to measure success.
“Besides all that, the association has tried to organise a number of camps for the team to prepare, which is very important.”
Kwangwa’s rise up the netball ranks has been a remarkable one, after being introduced to the sport for the first time at the age of 10 at Mtshede Primary School in Bulawayo. It wasn’t necessarily her first love as she also excelled in football and athletics at the time, but her talent for netball was immediately evident.