MMA Star Challenges Coventry’s Leadership

Gorimbo Reignites Feud with Minister Coventry Over Sports Governance

by Oluwatosin Alabi

In a recent development that has captured the attention of sports enthusiasts and the general public alike, Zimbabwe’s renowned Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) athlete, Themba “The Answer” Gorimbo, has once again voiced his dissatisfaction with Sports Minister Kirsty Coventry, just days after seemingly resolving an issue with the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC). This ongoing feud between Gorimbo and Coventry, a two-time Olympics gold medalist, has reignited discussions on the state of sports governance in Zimbabwe.

Themba Gorimbo, a 32-year-old welterweight fighter, has openly criticized Coventry’s tenure as the Minister of Sports, labeling her the “worst Sports Minister ever.” This criticism stems from what Gorimbo perceives as failures in Coventry’s management and promotion of sports within the country. Despite previously admiring Coventry for her swimming achievements and contributions to Zimbabwean sports, Gorimbo’s respect for her has significantly waned. In a heartfelt interview with broadcaster Owen Madondo, Gorimbo expressed his disappointment, stating, “I do not look up to her. I used to sing praises for Kirsty Coventry but now, you know what, I do not even want to talk about it.”

The tension between Gorimbo and the sports ministry was exacerbated by the SRC’s initial decision to prohibit him from displaying the national flag or wearing it during his competitive matches. This decision was a point of contention for Gorimbo, who values the representation of his country in international arenas. Fortunately, this matter was resolved following a meeting with SRC Director General Eltah Nengomasha, allowing Gorimbo the honor of showcasing his national pride during competitions.

Kirsty Coventry, celebrated as Africa’s most decorated Olympian, was appointed as Zimbabwe’s Sports Minister by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2018. The appointment carried the hope of revitalizing the country’s sports sector. However, Coventry’s tenure has been marred by criticism and perceived failures, leading to significant public and professional backlash.

Amidst this controversy, Gorimbo continues to contribute positively to his community and homeland. The UFC star is currently in Zimbabwe to visit family and friends and to oversee the construction of a state-of-the-art library in his home village in Bikita, Masvingo. Gorimbo’s journey from Zimbabwe to the global stage of the UFC, where he recently achieved a sensational knockout victory against American fighter Pete Rodriguez, is a testament to his resilience and talent. His story, further highlighted by an encounter with legendary World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar The Rock, has made Gorimbo a household name and an inspiration to many.

This ongoing saga between Themba Gorimbo and Sports Minister Kirsty Coventry underscores the challenges and dynamics of sports governance in Zimbabwe. As the nation continues to navigate these issues, the spotlight remains on figures like Gorimbo and Coventry, whose actions and decisions have far-reaching implications for the future of Zimbabwean sports.

You may also like

white logo with motto

The Zimbabwe Advocate is more than just a news outlet. We are a movement, a symbol of resistance against misinformation.

Latest News

© 2024 The Zimbabwe Advocate. All Rights Reserved.