The 12 year old Zimbabwean prodigy forging her path in motocross racing2 minute read

At the age of 12, Tanyarazwa Muzinda, or Tanya, is already an accomplished motocross rider from Harare, Zimbabwe. A driven and inspirational girl who has been tackling a sport that is widely considered a “boy’s domain” since she was 5 years old. Tanya’s story is one of ambition and hard work.

Why do you race motocross and where does your drive come from?

I race motocross because when I was young, my dad used to take me on his motorcycle. It was a great feeling. After my first experience and exposure on the bike, I went back and got faster and faster until I did not want to get off. It was after competing in about five to six races that I finally made it to the third position. And since that day, I always wanted to be on the podium.

Most people think that you can’t do it because it is only a sport for boys and I am a girl, but I want to show them that you can do anything. To the girls out there who will be reading this, I would like to tell them [not to] be discouraged by people who will tell you that you are too weak to do this and not strong enough, or you are too girlish. If I can do this, then you too will succeed.

What do you feel most proud of?

When I see young girls and boys coming up to me and saying, “You are my inspiration and I want to do motocross because of you.” That really makes me feel proud of myself. I am very happy to have the opportunity to do this. I know it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Through this whole experience of riding, I have learnt that motocross is not just a sport but it teaches you life lessons. That if you want to go on this line it’s going to be rough, so you have to try and find a smooth lane.

Just like in life, if you can’t succeed, you try again until you go to the right place.

Tanya Muzinda with Interviewer M’thunzi Mwanzwa-Madaba

Help Tanya achieve her goal with #TeamTanya.

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M'thunzi Mwanza-Madaba currently lives in Harare, Zimbabwe. She was born in Zambia, but moved to Tanzania in 1998 and later Kenya where she spent her teens and early adulthood. While in Tanzania, she pursued a career in social work and worked as an ECD practitioner. Today she uses her extensive background in social development to assist vulnerable communities in Zimbabwe.