14 January 2015
A Khayelitsha woman has been spotted by English netball talent scouts and will play in the United Kingdom (UK) league on a four months contract.
Phumza Maweni, 30, from Town Two, is the latest South African to be signed up to play in the UK after Proteas captain Maryka Holtzhausen who was signed up in December.
Maweni was spotted last year in New Zealand while she was representing South Africa at the Fast5 Netball World Series.
The talented defender and mother of one has joined UK Netball Super League team Loughborough Lightning.
Netball is England’s biggest female team sport and top players can earn thousands of pounds a month.
Maweni says playing for Loughborough is an opportunity she could not pass up as it will significantly boost her international profile.
She says she is determined to use her skills and contacts to help her community on her return.
Maweni started her career playing for a local team, the Vultures. At 15, she was already playing in senior competitions and three years later in 2011 her career took off when she was selected to represent the Western Cape.
A few years later, she was selected for the Proteas team.
“Netball is everything to me, it is a game that pushes one to go forward,” Maweni says.
“At first I thought I was playing for fun. I was not sure that I would get this far.”
In her spare time she likes to play tennis, clean and cook, and she hates it when people pick their noses in public.
Her father Dosini Maweni, 63, says his daughter is the first in the family to go overseas.
“At first we were worried because she will be far away from home. But we understand sport can take you anywhere, and she is taken care of,” he says.
He says her career seemed to take a knock when she had a baby. “But because I could see that she had potential I helped her to take care of my grandchild so that she could concentrate on her netball,” he said.
“Today she is reaping the fruits of her labour.” Neighbours say they hope children in the area will aspire to emulate Maweni’s achievements.