“There is nothing more fulfilling than being counted amongst the best while competing in a foreign country”. So says Musina Municipality‘s own “Zola Budd”,  Lillian Muleya who recently came out position two during the 10km race at Manzini, Swaziland. Muleya was joined by another municipal employee, Rosina Mukumba who was counted amongst the top ten athletes during the same race.

Muleya and Mukumba were competing with fellow athletes from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Zambia and Swaziland.

Cllr Siyaphi Shirilele (middle) congratulates Lillian Muleya (left) and Rosina Mukumba shortly after the prize giving ceremony at Manzini, Swaziland.

The race was part of the week long sporting activities organized by the Southern Africa Inter-Municipal Sports Association (SAIMSA). SAIMSA aims to build friendship amongst municipal workers in Southern Africa and to encourage healthy living styles by municipal workers through taking part in sports.

Muleya is not a novice in brilliant performances during the SAIMSA tournaments. In 2016, she took position one during the 5km race in Lesotho. Last year, she took position one in the 5km race during the SAIMSA tournament in Middelburg, Mpumalanga. This year, she went a step further by participating in the 10km race.

She said although her goal was to take the first position, she was not disappointed with the results. “I was competing with seasoned professional athletes and the race was very tough. I am very happy that I was counted amongst the best. The race was a learning curve to me and I will definitely improve my performance during the next tournament.”

She said she had trained very hard for the race and she gave herself time to rehearse. “I ran 10km daily in the morning before going to work and went to gym every Saturday and Sunday. This was to make sure that I should be fit when the race approaches. I am very delighted that I did not sweat in vain for all those days.”

Taking into consideration that Mukumba was making her debut in the race, her performance was impressive. “It was the first time for me to take part in the race and I’m satisfied by the results. My colleagues advised me to start with the 5km race but I resisted. My achievement is a result of extensive training and I have no doubt that I will bring better results in future.”  Said Mukumba.

Muleya and Mukumba thanked their employer, Musina Municipality, for giving them the opportunity to realize their potential. “We would not have achieved this if it were not the support from our employer. We also thank our colleagues who were there to give us courage while we were running the race. We will definitely bring better results during the next competitions.”

Municipal spokesperson, Wilson Dzebu said the institution is very proud of Muleya and Mukumba. “They are representing us very well and we will make sure that we give them full support. We really congratulate them on their exceptional performances.”