FAST rising table tennis teenager Shabani Mulenga has been drafted into the national squad following a string of extraordinary performances. The 16-year-old Mulenga has amassed a total of 19 gold and two silver medals in his junior curcuit, and seems destined for glory An ecstatic Mulenga, whose dream started on a school desk at Grange Christian School, says he draws his inspiration from very humble beginnings. By Brighton Zhawi

“I was born in Mbare, and our family was very poor,” said Mulenga.

“My background also inspires me to be outstanding; I went to the Grange Christian School then to Prince Edward where I am living my dream,” he said.

“I started playing on my desk, and who occassional use my teacher’s bigger table when she was not in.

“That’s when I noticed my talent, at a very tender age.”

“I also play rugby for my schools U17s team and the second team besides being in the cross country team too.

“I am aiming to get a varsity scholarship through my academics and table tennis after high school,” said Mulenga.

With his history in the past, Mulenga has set his sights on taking his career to the next level. “I have been drafted into the Zimbabwe men’s squad…what can I say, it keeps getting better.”

“It makes me grateful that at least some people recognize my efforts and this motivates me to do more,” he said.

Like most champions, the Prince Edward School form four pupil, is spurred by passion. “I have a heart and passion for the game.

“Critics say I will never be successful with such a sport and that gives me the desire to prove them wrong.

“I also have great support from my family and that has given me the mentality of never wanting to lose,” said Mulenga.

Mulenga has also enjoyed success both locally and regionally.

“I took first place at the Zambia Junior Open in 2010.

“Back home I have won gold in the Zimbabwe Junior Open, Harare Open and also the Prince Edward Open for the past five years.”

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