Zimbabwe Cricket has been saddled with yet another loss. The sudden death of Sinikiwe Mpofu, their senior women’s national team’s Assistant Coach has sent shockwaves and grief through the Zimbabwe camp. This is less than a month after Shepherd Makunura, her husband died.
Mpofu was 37 and was a former Zimbabwe international cricketer. She was pronounced dead on arrival after she collapsed at her home in Masvingo and was rushed to a medical facility on Saturday. A post-mortem will be conducted to investigate the cause of her death and it will be carried out shortly providing closure to the family. At the time of her untimely demise, she was still processing the loss of her husband Shepherd Makunura who served as the Zimbabwe men’s team fielding coach and passed away on 15th December 2022. The couple is survived by two children. The arrangements for Mpofu’s funeral will be announced in the due course of time.
Rest in Peace!
37 year old Senior Women’s National Team Assistant Coach Sinikiwe Mpofu passed away yesterday, less than a month after her husband, Shepherd Makunura, was laid to rest 😭
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) January 8, 2023
Mpofu has been a crucial cog in Zimbabwe’s set-up. Born in 1985, she was a talented all-rounder who was a part of the Zimbabwe women’s team that made its maiden international appearance in 2006. Tracing her roots, she started playing the game while at school and has featured in provincial cricket as well for the Westerns. On joining the Takashinga Cricket Club, she made it to the Northerns team when she moved to Harare in pursuit of higher education. Once she retired, she ventured into coaching and scoring and became a very important part of Zimbabwe Cricket’s grassroots-level development structure at the provincial and national levels. She was also a part of the technical team and was instrumental as Zimbabwe Women dominated Africa Women and also earned ODI status when they finished one win away from qualifying for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. In the domestic cricket ecosystem, she guided Mountaineers Women to their inaugural provincial one-day tournament championship in the 2020/21 season and also in the Women’s T20 Cup where they ended as runners-up.
The Zimbabwe cricket family paid their heartfelt tribute and condolences to Mpofu’s and Makunura’s families. Managing Director Givemore Makoni of Zimbabwe Cricket was quoted saying, “Death has robbed us of a genuinely warm individual, more importantly, a loving mother, and deprived so many others, including all of us, of one of the pioneers of women’s cricket in Zimbabwe who went on to excel as a coach at provincial and national levels. With her sudden passing coming just a few weeks after the death of her loving husband, who was also a part of our national team coaching setup, this is particularly a difficult and painful time for their young children, families, friends and the entire cricket fraternity. In extending to them our heartfelt condolences, we wish them the courage and strength to bear this devastating loss”.
I am a first year postgraduate student pursuing a MA in Media and Communication Studies at Christ University, Bengaluru. I am a podcaster, blogger and an avid cricket fan. When not glued to cricket matches, you can find me submerged in books and thinking about cricket all the time.