Tanya Muzinda is used to being first. She’s the oldest daughter of the Muzinda family and the first to go to school. After hopping aboard a motocross bike at the age of five, it only took Tanya one year to become Zimbabwe’s first female motocross champion. In 2017, she also became the first female rider to win a round at the HL Racing British Master Kids Championships and took third overall.
Muzinda’s achievements led to an appointment as the honorary ambassador of the European Union to Zimbabwe for Youth, Gender, Sports and Development. She was also named Junior Sportswoman of the year in 2018 by the Africa Union Sports Council Region Five Annual Sports Awards. After all those achievements, Tanya and her family have bigger goals in mind.
As the first generation of the Muzinda line to move from the village to Zimbabwe’s largest city, Harare, Tanya’s family is very resourceful. When Tanya started showing promise at a young age, her father reached out to motocross legend Stefy Bau to mentor his daughter. The three-time world champion took Muzinda under her wing and continues to guide the young motocrosser.
Now, the Muzinda clan embarks on the next phase of the journey. By moving to the United States, Tanya hopes to become the first female motocross athlete from Africa to attain international success. While Muzinda’s ambitions are noble, it doesn’t come without its detractors.
“I always tell myself that I shouldn’t let anyone’s comment affect me because they are not contributing anything in what I do.” said the 16-year-old motocrosser.
Muzinda has her personal goals in order, but that doesn’t stop her from giving back to her community. In September, 2019, she even launched a scholarship program for underprivileged children in Zimbabwe. Tanya frequently uses motocross prize money and donations to support young students, especially young girls.
“Most of the children I paid for are girls because when parents don’t have enough money to send their kids to school, they’d prefer to send the boy child,” said Muzinda.
Hopefully, Tanya’s efforts not only gain her international recognition, but also fuel a new generation of first-time students, athletes, and champions.