Netball is one of the spotting activity that has placed the Malawi nation on the Map. This is so due to the recent excellent performance of Malawi national netball team the Queens both in Africa and at World level.
Malawi Queens is ranked number one in Africa while At World level Malawi Queens is ranked position five with Australia on top.
Although this is the case with Malawi netball, there is one name that one cannot rule it out when talking of the glory of netball in the country and this is none other than Mwai Kumwenda.
Now, who is Mwai Kumwenda?
Mwai Jasinta Kumwenda is a Malawian netball player who plays for the Malawi natinal netball team, the Malawi Queens, and the ANZ Championship franchise, the Canterbury Tactix.
She was born on September 27, 1989 in the commercial Capital Blantyre.
She played in the 2011 Netball World Championships, where Malawi finished sixth. She also played in the 2011 World Netball Series where during a game against Australia her and Mary Waya scored three consecutive 4 pointers in the last quarter to snatch a historic draw.
She played in the 2012 Fast5 Netball World Series in Auckland, where she put in several outstanding performances, which resulted in her becoming a fan favourite, and vaulted her in ANZ Championship consideration. Malawi finished in 5th place, but were able to beat silver medalists England during the round robin stage.
She currently plays for the Peninsula Waves in the Victorian Netball League, in Australia, where she was named player of the tournament.
In September 2013, Kumwenda became the first African netball player to sign for an ANZ Championship franchise when she signed with the Canterbury Tactix for the 2014 season.
In the 2014 ANZ Championship Season, Kumwenda burst onto the international scene.
Amassing more goals than any other shooter in the competition and shooting above 90% on a very regular basis, she won the ANZ Championship’s Best New Talent award, along with a slew of awards from her club, the Canterbury Tactix. She has signed with them again for the 2015 Season and remains as one of their greatest assets.
Kumwenda also competed for Malawi at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, in which her vast improvement from more competitive play in New Zealand helped her team to many highs. Losing to New Zealand 50-47, they recorded the closest result ever against the country and one of their best performances in Netball history.
In addition to this, one sided matches against St Lucia, Scotland and Northern Island in which she scored many goals showcased Malawi’s improved attacking prowess. Despie their 31 goal loss to Jamaica 81-50, Mwayi showcased further development in that not only did she score a large number of goals but also played Goal Keeper for a time in the 4th Quarter, in which her aerial ability allowed her to get some deflections against the giant Jhaniele Fowler-Reid.
Malawi beat South Africa to claim 5th place in the tournament.