BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
It’s been five years since Mighty Warriors star midfielder Marjory Nyaumwe graced the Rio Olympics with a unique Africa thread hairstyle, which fascinated many opposition players.
Now 34, Nyaumwe is still a vital cog in the Mighty Warriors’ engine room having starred in the teams’ recent Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (Awcon) qualifier win over Eswatini scoring two goals over two legs.
The Sithethelelwe Sibanda coached side thumped Eswatini 6 – 1 on aggregate.
Nyaumwe, who is certainly in the twilight of her career, is still basking in the team’s historic achievement five years ago as the first football team in the country to qualify for the Olympics.
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity where the team rubbed shoulders with giants such as Australia, Germany and Canada; and Nyaumwe made the most of the opportunity by sporting a unique hairstyle.
“People with natural hair sometimes don’t know what to do with it and I did that hair style as a way of showing off my hair especially to those who do not have long hair,” the 34-year-old star told The Sports Hub.
It was also the simplest hairstyle I could think of and it was easy to do, especially considering that we were in camp. In the end it generated a lot of interest. Other players, especially whites, were fascinated and they were wondering how I threaded my hair to be like that.
“Before matches referees would call me for personal inspection soon after team inspection just to make sure that my hairstyle was not a danger to other players,” she said.
CBS Sports journalist Roger Gonzalez who was covering the Olympics wrote an article: Give this Zimbabwe soccer player a gold medal for her hair at the Rio Olympics during the games.
“Zimbabwe’s women’s soccer team isn’t expected to do much at the Summer Olympics, but they have already given us more than we could have hoped. One of their players, Marjory Nyaumwe, currently has the title belt for the greatest hair in the Rio Olympics. You be the judge,” he wrote.
Nyaumwe’s hair was a subject of interest on social media with others vouching for her to get a gold medal for her hair.
While she may have left a mark at the Global Games because of her hairstyle, Nyaumwe is pleased to have been part of the history-making Mighty Warriors team but fears its a feat that they may be difficult to replicate considering the state of the game at the moment.
“I am happy that I was part of the team that went to the Rio Olympics. It is the highlight of my career and a big achievement for the Mighty Warriors team as a whole because it’s not an easy thing to qualify for such a big event.
“But with the way things are at the moment I don’t see us qualifying for the Olympics anytime soon. What we did as a team was to punch way above our weight, but since then our football has not improved much,” the Correctional Queens players added.
Nyaumwe is aware that the sun is setting on her international career which has spanned a decade and a half, which is why she is enjoying her current form for the Mighty Warriors.
“At the moment I am really enjoying my game in the national colours. I am happy to have scored in all the games in the Awcon qualifiers against Eswatini to help my nation proceed further in these Awcon qualifiers,” she said.
“One thing for sure is that I am in the twilight of my career, so I don’t have many years remaining, maybe one or two before I can call time on my career.”
Having started playing at Mufakose Queens in 2002 Nyaumwe broke into the national Under-20 squad in 2004 when she was 17. Since then she has been in the national teams.
A prison officer who has played for Correctional Queens since 2013, she had a stint with Aces Youth Soccer Academy (AYSA) in the past.