BORN in August 6 1987, Sebenzile Sibanda is a female karateka who has dedicated her life to the most unrecognised sport in Zimbabwe.
She is a financial management undergraduate student at the University of South Africa and a karateka as well.
Southern Eye Sport caught up with Sibanda who told how she made a decision to take up the sport.
“I met a guy called Prince Chinamasa who always told me about martial arts, particularly karate and taekwondo. The way he talked about the sport I could not help, but find myself taking up the sport. At first, he took me to taekwondo before I moved to karate,” Sibanda said.
Although she is still a white belt, Sibanda is destined for greater heights.
“I am still a white belt, I started karate in March this year, but I want to go as far as achieving a black belt very soon.
“From what I have achieved in seven months so far, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I will be going far with the sport,” she said.
Sibanda made a mark in her debut in April in the 2013 inter-styles senior teams championships in Triangle grabbing a silver medal in the individual kumite, winning bronze in the women team kumite in the 2013 zone V1 karate championships in Windhoek, Namibia, in June before clinching gold in the women’s individual kumite in the 2013 inter-provincial in Bulawayo earlier this month.
The 26-year-old sankukai specialist is preparing for the Japanese ambassador’s cup to be held in Harare next month.
Sibanda is yet to identify her source of inspiration as she said she is not familiar with international karatekas.
“Honestly, for now I do not know of any international karateka whom I can say I draw my inspiration from, instead, Prince Chinamasa, sensei John Mhangwa and his son Prince are the people who keep me going in karate. I am grateful of their support,” she said.
Besides attaining a black belt, Sibanda’s dream is to compete in the world karate championships.
Sibanda encourages the girl child to take up the sport saying that will be to their advantage.
“I would like to encourage girls to take up this sport. It is good for females — it is a sport that emphasises discipline, good for self defence especially for girls who are always at risk of being sexually abused,” she added.