Smiling assassin

21 Nov, 2020 - 00:11 0 Views

The Herald

Veronica Gwaze
DESPITE a dry spell in Volleyball owing to the current lockdown, many enthusiasts continue to look forward to being wowed by University of Zimbabwe Wolves’ star Melody Moyo when action finally returns.

The 26-year-old slender power hitter has so much in common with Warriors’ skipper Knowledge Musona, who is also affectionately known as “the Smiling Assassin”.

Musona barely makes it transparent whether or not he is under pressure even when the odds are against him, neither does he go into wild jubilations after wowing the fans.

What has become his trade mark is his smile and Moyo is simply the Warrior’s counterpart in Volleyball.

Moyo is usually silent and yet her tactics speak louder, when she steps onto the court, burying opponents.

That side of her gained her the moniker “Smiling Assassin”. She seems to excel both on and off the courts.

A graduate with an Honours degree in Economic History and currently studying towards a Master’s degree under the same programme, Moyo likes to transport fans to wonderland.

Ordinarily Moyo would have been expected to give minimum concentration to sport, however, for the star, the courts have become a place to relieve academic pressure.

“At this level of education, it obviously comes with a lot of pressure and frustration and so the volleyball court used to be my favorite space during such a time,” she explains.

“On court, I always felt all pressures and worries go away and, emerging from there I knew whatever was troubling me, I was ready to face it with a fresh mind.

“This lockdown period is really tough. Unlike most people who have alternative sources of pleasure, for me life is just all about volleyball.”

The Bulawayo-born star’s journey in volleyball begun during her Insukanini Primary School days before proceeding to Mpopoma High.

During her days at school, she would try out all sport codes although she later settled for volleyball.

Since signing for her first club, Highlanders in 2011, she has never stayed off the courts for more than three months.

In 2014, she made a maiden appearance at the Youth Games, in Bulawayo, where she played a crucial role in helping her province grab gold medals.

This marked a breakthrough for the “Silent Assassin” and after that tourney, she began to get many offers. She, however, remained at her club.

That same year during Zimbabwe Open Championships in Gweru, Moyo gave UZ Wolves, which was the local powerhouse then, a torrid time.

“That was a game to remember, we made sure that they got a good run for their money. We played as a team, according to plan but individually, I gave it my all.

“Although we lost 3-0, I made sure that they remembered me for what I did that day. I know for most of them, the memories are still fresh.

The then UZ Wolves coach, Jonathan Gava, still recalls the game which he describes as “Moyo’s moment of brilliance”.

In an interview after the signing, Gava had this to say: “…never in Zimbabwe had we played against such a young talented player.

“She was still in High School then, and we made it point to snap her up at the earliest possible opportunity.”

The University side made decision to sign the player on in 2016.

That is how she ended up at her current club.

Moyo also has fond memories with Highlander at the 2014 Club Championships in Swaziland where she helped her side reach the semi-finals.

While some students took advantage of the lockdown to concentrate more on their studies, Moyo misses donning the UZ colours.

While soccer is preparing to bounce back to action, volleyball will not be returning this season. Moyo feels hard done.

“The whole year has gone to waste and it affects everyone both physically and mentally. There will be need to take the players through therapy to help them psychologically if we are to looking to excel,” she explained.

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