Grace Chingoma, Harare Bureau
THE reigning Zimbabwe Sportsperson of the Year, Wilfred Mashaya, who added another feather in cap when he was inducted into the 14th Anniversary London Hall of Fame last week, says he will remain humbled and disciplined following the latest recognition.
Mashaya was identified as one of the greatest achievers of martial arts around the world.
The 36-year-old athlete is the first Zimbabwean to be recognised in Europe’s oldest and longest running Hall of Fame.
And Mashaya, who has previously won other international awards such as the World Champion in World Cup Weapons Forms Martial Arts in Barcelona, Spain last year and the International Master of the Year Award in Budva, Montenegro, last year again, says the London achievement was very special.
“I am happy and feel honoured to be the first Zimbabwean to be honoured in martial arts in London.
“First of all it’s about hard work. If you put effort in what you do it will come out. I was passionate about martial arts since I was young. Discipline is a very important aspect in martial arts and I believe it has led me to conquer in this sport.
“The more you rise, the more you should remain humble and these are the things which drive me. Every time I achieve something I just tell myself that this is the beginning,” said Mashaya.
Mashaya’s profile continues to grow by each passing day and this accolade comes after he scooped the RASA Regional Sportsman of the Year in Windhoek, Namibia, in May.
He was nominated in two categories including the Sportsperson of the Year but the Zimbabwean walked tall with one of the awards.
The martial artist’s first recognition was back in 2012 when he was awarded with the World Kyokushin Union Certified first dan black belt. There was no going back for the athlete who has amassed a lot of national and international achievements.
“A few of these awards remain close to my heart. I am happy about the London certificate but my silver and bronze medal as a debutant in Russia in 2016 remains a treasure for me. It was my first time at an international competition and I was the only African there.
“I am looking forward to future tournaments like the upcoming event in September as well as the 2020 World Championship in Malta,” he said.