The stick that changed a life
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.