The stick that changed a life

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - SPORT - Lang­ton Nyak­wenda

THE cue stick is his trusted hunt­ing weapon, and many have fallen prey to the ma­jes­tic shots of Zim­babwe na­tional pool champ Tendai “In­spec­tor” Mubaiwa.

The 28-year-old Hat­field-based player, who re­cently won the 2018 Car­ling Black La­bel Na­tional Pool Cham­pi­onship in Bu­l­awayo, fell in love with game when he was just seven.

That was in 1997, and since then the game of pool has been part of his life.

When he is not com­pet­ing, Mubaiwa is ei­ther re­pair­ing pool ta­bles fee or sell­ing ac­ces­sories he sources from South Africa.

“We used to go and play video games at the tuck­shops when I was still a kid in Zengeza 1 in Chi­tung­wiza.

It was there that I would see some se­niors play­ing the game and I in­stantly fell in love with pool,” Mubaiwa says.

Nick­named “In­spec­tor” be­cause of his ex­per­tise, Mubaiwa won his sec­ond CBL Na­tional Cham­pi­onship in four years fol­low­ing his tri­umph over Lewis Mun­yama at Rayl­ton Sports Club on Novem­ber 24.

Mubaiwa walked away with a pool ta­ble and $1 000, while Mun­yama pock­eted $700 and third-placed Obe­di­ence Lewis got $600. Char­ity Ncube of Kadoma over­came the dis­ap­point­ment of last year’s dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion to claim the women’s cham­pi­onship with a 5-0 white­wash win over Bu­l­awayo based Flatta Moyo.

Ncube pock­eted $1 000 while Moyo walked away $700 richer.

“I used that prize money to buy pool ac­ces­sories for re­sale. My wife was so happy with that vic­tory. It’s not easy to come out tops in a cham­pi­onship that has the coun­try’s best play­ers,” says Mubaiwa, who is mar­ried to Chenai Kwiri­rai with whom he has a five-year-old child, Tino­tenda.

“My fam­ily un­der­stands how im­por­tant pool is in my life. I eat, talk and sleep pool. Apart from re­pair­ing pool ta­bles I also sell ac­ces­sories in Harare’s cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict.

“I own four pool ta­bles ... I can safely say the game of pool is putting food on the ta­ble for my fam­ily.”

So dom­i­nant has been Mubaiwa that he has reached the CBL Na­tional Pool Cham­pi­onship fi­nal three times in the last four years. He won the na­tional ti­tle in 2015 and 2018, and was run­ner-up in 2016.

“I am a good at­tacker mainly but when it’s time to de­fend I also do it dili­gently,” he says. Mubaiwa charmed thou­sands of pool fans who turned up at Bu­l­awayo’s Rayl­ton Sports Club with some fine shots, regis­ter­ing an em­phatic 5-2 vic­tory over Mun­yama in the fi­nal.

“Mun­yama was a bit tricky, he came out strong in the first two games but I re­gained my com­po­sure and beat him in the end.

“The Bu­l­awayo fans were fan­tas­tic, they re­ally love the sport and I am sure this game has the po­ten­tial of grow­ing even fur­ther in the next few years,” says Mubaiwa.

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