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All That (African) Jazz

Zim’s 14 year old tennis star shining in UK

Michael Mhangami is a fourteen year old Zimbabwean budding tennis star currently living in UK. Here, he writes a very touching letter seeking for funding for his tennis career. This lad is so talented and hard working. He dreams of one day becoming the best tennis player in the world. Why not lend a helping hand to this incredibly talented ace tennis player and help make his dream come true?

A letter by Michael Mhangami

My name is Michael Mhangami, a fourteen year old tennis sensation. I have been playing the beautiful game of tennis since the age of three. I started competing local level and LTA aged four and tennis Europe (international) age ten. I have since amassed over eight hundred Medals and Trophies.

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Michael Mhangami, pic from http://www.gofundme.com

At the age of nine, I was the U10 AEGON national champion. I had an incredible year winning the AEGON Winter Masters, The AEGON Clay Court Championships and the AEGON Invitational. I ended the year as the number one player in my age group which I maintained for three consecutive years, 2010 -2013. Since a little boy, my dream has always been to win at least one Grand slam, especially Wimbledon. At ten years old I was given the chance to play at the carpet like green grass of Wimbledon and instantly fell in love with the place and quintessential British tradition that goes with it. Ever since, I watched Andy Murray destroy my hero Roger Federer during the 2012 London Olympics at the AELTC (All England Lawn Tennis Club), my goals and dreams changed. I started aspiring for bigger and better things.

As I play and compete, especially on the international circuit, Bulgaria, Hungary, Turkey, Spain, Germany, Italy, Scotland etc., I realise that for me to keep going I cannot rely on my parent’s meagre resources. Tennis is like golf and formula one, is a very expensive sport. For me to pursue my dream, of not only playing at the very top winning Grand slams and Olympic tittles, I need every penny from wherever I can get it. Hence the reason I am appealing for everyone to dig deep into their pockets and make this dream into a reality. Every little helps, so please do not think of how small your donation may be, just give.

I am so lucky that behind me is a very strong and dedicated team, Team Michael with Rudolph Walker OBE (Patrick in EastEnders) as the Ambassador for the Team Michael.
Mr Walker has not only been my number one fan from day one, he also supports my local club Southwark City Tennis club in lots of different ways. Gavin Mkandla, Zimbabwe’s well know football agent and fitness fanatic is fully behind me. Only last year he managed to get me backstage to meet the Bryan Brothers at the ATP World Tour Finals. When I look back on that day, I see visions of me one day being a player giving influential words to a young aspiring tennis player. It may sound unusual for a teenager to say that, but I want the dream so bad.

Just to give you a rough idea of what my loving parents put into my tennis, here is the annual cost for my tennis; roughly £37000. The breakdown is as follows; £20000-Coaching (52 weeks, 5 days a week, 3 hours a day), £15000-Fitness, competitions- £1000 to £1500 (40 tournaments including 10 International) + clothing, equipment, travel and accommodation. I currently go to one of the best sports schools in UK, Whitgift School. The fees a year are around £18000. My parents could easily have chosen to stop paying ridiculous amounts on me, but no. 

I just want to become the best player in the world, nothing less. Your support and assistance would be greatly appreciated. 

Thank You. 

Michael Mhangami

On 6 May 2015, the Whitgift School U-14A Tennis team played R.G.S, Guilford at home. Michael was not only among the 6 boys who represented Whitgift but he was also the team captain. Take a look at his AEGON player profile

Watch Michael in action on YouTube a video filmed by Jeremiah Quinn in 2011. Visit his Facebook page

Good luck Michael from Afrique Beat – The Heartbeat of Africa

Fund Michael

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About Editor

Constance van Niekerk is a South African-based Zimbabwean-born creative writer, poet, music lover, spoken word artist, freelance writer, blogger and educator. She has contributed to several anthologies and published her own collection, Echoes of My Heart: A Poetry Collection available for purchase on all Amazon Stores Worldwide. She is also Editor at ZimOnlineNews. Follow her on Twitter : @convanniekerk Connect with her on Facebook and Linkedin.

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Echoes of My Heart: A Poetry Collection by Constance van Niekerk

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