Mwai Kumwenda in action

Mwai Kumwenda in action

LILONGWE (Malawi NewsNow)- Malawi President Peter Mutharika has extended his congratulations to the country’s netball superstar Mwawi Kumwenda for scooping the International World Games Association (IWGA) Athlete of the Year Award.

Mwawi, Malawi’s sole netball export who plays for a New Zealand side, Tactix, won the award against 17 other nominees from all over the world. She was the only African candidate nominated for the award.

The Malawi Queens shooter was confirmed global Athlete of the Year after amassing 17,910 votes. Second-placed Flying Disc Beach Ultimate Mixed Team from Germany got 9,168 votes while Russian dance couple Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova finished third with 7,722 votes.

Mutharika took to Instagram and Facebook to congratulate the 26-year-old Malawian netballer for scooping the award at a young age, describing it a “tremendous achievement” which the Malawi Presidency and the entire nation were proud of.

“[The First Lady] Gertrude and I join Malawi and Africa in congratulating Mwawi Kumwenda…It brings immense satisfaction when a Malawian earns such global recognition beyond our shores.

“Her journey to success; perseverance, hard work, commitment and patriotism will remain a source of inspiration for our young people; we hope that many will follow her footsteps,” said the Malawi leader.

Opposition leader and Malawi Congress Party President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera also took time to congratulate Mwawi, claiming the netballer deserved the award and that her achievement should remind the people what Malawi can achieve if they worked together and supported each other.

The Malawi Queens shooter conceded there was “terrific competition” for the award, observing she couldn’t have done it without the support from Malawians.

“I dedicate this Award to all the people who have helped inspire, motivate and challenge me in my life along the way to get to where I am right now.

“The Netball World, the entire sports fraternity in Malawi and Africa, those girls following my footsteps all over the world, are the winners,” said Mwawi as she promised “to keep fighting, keep living, keep training hard, and keep dreaming”.