Early in our career, we are too immersed in our profession to have time for our family, leave alone the society. Helping others becomes something that one normally indulges in after retirement, not at the peak of one’s success. And when you have just started, you can be excused if you are too ‘focused’ on your success to care for the deprived and the needy. But then you are not Tanya, the motocross sensation from Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwean teenager Tanyaradzwa “Tanya” Muzinda is a sensation in the world of Motocross. She has the guts to compete in a sport as tough as motocross and a heart to match. Yet she loves more the privilege of placing a smile on the faces of children. She pays the fees for 45 kids: 40 girls and 5 boys, and also sponsors a charity.
Just 14, Tanya is making sure that a girl child also gets a fair chance at education and she is donating a substantial part of her earnings to Chinamano Council Primary School, Epworth. But this is just the beginning for her. By 2020, she dreams of ultimately sending 500 children to school.
Tanya became the Junior Sportswoman of the Year and also Junior Sportsperson of the Year 2015 in Birmingham in the UK. She won the Region 5 African Union Awards year and even the Mandela Trophy. She was elated at the honor as well as excited to have traveled to Europe for the first time in her life. She was grateful for the support she had received and vowed to fulfill the dreams and expectations of all who have supported her. But her ultimate dream is to inspire many more African girls to be as successful.
Tanya and her family were the first to move for good to the capital, Harare. City life has not uprooted Tanya, the eldest child in her family, from her heritage. She is the first girl from her family who attended school; she was into sports right from an early age.
Her father stood by her and bought Tanya a go-kart. He was a motocross enthusiast but had to forego his passion for the family. With her go-kart in tow, Tanya got a feel of the Donnybrook Motorsport Park. She practiced there regularly. She was soon introduced to motocross as the park also had 3 motocross tracks.
Tanya became the foremost Zimbabwean female champion in motocross. Tanya deeply loved this sport so her dad contacted Stefy Bau, the Motocross legend to mentor Tanya. He wanted the best possible support and training for her daughter.
In 2013, Stefy was in Zimbabwe. With just two weeks of coaching, Tanya won her second championship in the highly competitive 65B division class.
Tanya hopes to be the first female African rider to succeed consistently at an international level. #TeamTanya was thus born.
Her passion to help matches her passion for motocross. This teenage sensation was recently nominated for the African Child Sports Personality of the Year in Africa award and has also been selected as the United Nations Honorary Ambassador for gender, youth, and sport. She is also the European Union’s ambassador for food security in rural areas.
Tanya wants to do something for the community. She is as passionate about educating the underprivileged girls as she is about motocross. She had her share of deprivation in the initial stages of her profession and knows the hardship her father went through so that she could succeed in her endeavors. She can feel the trauma and pain a child goes through when they are deprived of things as basic as education. Tanya became the first in the history of Zimbabwean motocross to win a championship race. July 2018 saw feature as one of the 10 greatest African Female Trailblazer Athletes.
This year she has been furiously training for the World Junior Amateur Championships in the U.S. in October and November. Her goal remains the Women World Motocross Championship, and when she wins she will surely be the first black African woman to win the world championship. And every win will surely put more smiles on the faces of children who will have the privilege to attend school thanks to Tanya.