Mafira Takes “Pride” In His Disability
Born 14 years ago with a deformed right leg which had one of its supporting bones missing, the Mafira family thought all hope was lost and they were left with no option but to have their newly born son’s leg amputated.
To the family members, what came at the back of their mind was a Pride Tadiwanashe Mafira who was going to spend the whole of his life glued to his wheelchair, needing assistance in everything that would make his life tick.
But alas, the young Mafira is taking “Pride” in his disability.
He has even made the old adage; disability does not mean inability a reality. The boy has overcame the course of nature and has taken the sporting world by surprise as he has been bagging medals after medals at regional competitions that he has been to.
Only last week, Pride, the T44/F64 para athlete came back from South Africa where he scooped three gold medals in three events which he has perfected as his best sporting events for this entire sport life.
Pride has perfected the 100m sprints, high jump and shot-put where he managed to rack three gold medals at the South African Sports for the disabled held in Stellenbosch from March 15 to 21.
Pride’s journey to stardom started as pastime exercise when his father-cum-coach Fredrick Mafira thought of giving him a little bit of exercises having started showing signs of a good athlete despite the disability.
An expedition to South Africa in 2016, where his father bought him his artificial leg, brought them face to face with officials from Iceexpress Progressive Prosthetics, a company that sales these artificial legs.
The officials then introduced him to the Is Ability Sports Club which has become a home to Pride since then.
His father made it clear that Pride was not participating representing Zimbabwe as a nation but was taking part at these sporting events as a club member at Is Ability.
This was the third tournament that Pride has attended since bursting into the sporting scene in 2017.
His first event was in 2017 at the Nedbank Championships for the physically disabled which was held in Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
Pride scooped gold in his favourite 100m sprint event and silver in high jump. He however, could not compete in shot put at the first go.
At the event, he earned an invitation to go and take part in Portugal, but he could not attend due to financial challenges.
The following year, Pride took part in the O.R Tambo Soncini Cohesion Games were he scooped two gold medals in 100m print event and in shot put.
He could not compete in high jump. At this event, Pride qualified for the Stellenbosch event which was then held last week.
Speaking to 263Chat, his father Fredrick said he has faced a number of challenges that include purchasing of the artificial leg which consist of prosthetic blade and sock liner which cost close to R93 000 and is renewed after every three years.
He also spoke about the lack of funding which has seen his son fail to attend a number of events which he would have qualified for example the Portugal and the Rio events.
He however took the opportunity to thank companies, individuals and family friends that have stood by him since his son started participating in these events.
“We have had helping hands along the way. Without these people, my son’s dream could have been shattered long back,” Mafira senior said.
The young Mafira has his dreams as an athlete as well.
“One day I would want to see myself competing for Zimbabwe at grand stages. South Africa had Oscar Pistorius, give me some time, I will be up there with the best,” said the Prince Edward student who also plays wood ball.
Again his father has his own dreams in as far as sports for people with disabilities is concerned.
“I would want a situation whereby my son represents Zimbabwe at the Tokyo 2020 games. But my heart bleeds for people leaving with disabilities in as far as sporting activities are concerned. I would want to set up a club for amputees here in Zimbabwe and empower them through sport,” concluded the elder Mafira.