27 September 1989|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position(s): GS, GA|
|Last updated: 6 June 2018|
Mwayi Kumwenda (also known as Mwai or Mwawi; born 27 September 1989 in Mzimba, Malawi) is a Malawian netball player who plays for the Malawi national netball team, the Malawi Queens, and the Suncorp Super Netball franchise, the Melbourne Vixens.
Kumwenda was first played in senior international netball at the 2010 World Netball Series. She played in the 2011 Netball World Championships, where Malawi finished sixth. She also played in the 2011 World Netball Series where during a game against Australia her and Mary Waya scored three consecutive 4 pointers in the last quarter to snatch a historic draw.
She played in the 2012 Fast5 Netball World Series in Auckland, where she put in several outstanding performances, which resulted in her becoming a fan favourite, and vaulted her in ANZ Championship consideration. Malawi finished in 5th place, but were able to beat silver medalists England during the round robin stage.
Kumwenda also competed for Malawi at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, in which her vast improvement from more competitive play in New Zealand helped her team to many highs. Losing to New Zealand 50-47, they recorded the closest result ever against the country and one of their best performances in Netball history. In addition to this, one sided matches against St Lucia, Scotland and Northern Ireland in which she scored many goals showcased Malawi's improved attacking prowess. Despite their 31 goal loss to Jamaica 81-50, Mwayi showcased further development in that not only did she score a large number of goals but also played Goal Keeper for a time in the 4th Quarter, in which her aerial ability allowed her to get some deflections against the giant Jhaniele Fowler-Reid. Malawi beat South Africa to claim 5th place in the tournament.
Kumwenda was originally noticed at the 2009 Netball World Youth Cup, where she was one of Malawi's most prolific shooters. She drew the attention of Peninsula Waves coach Maxine Wauchope and was invited to play club netball in Victoria, Australia.
She also attracted the attention of Canterbury Tactix coach Leigh Gibbs in New Zealand. In September 2013, Kumwenda became the first African netball player to sign for an ANZ Championship franchise when she signed with the Tactix for the 2014 season.
In the 2014 ANZ Championship season, Kumwenda burst onto the international scene. Amassing more goals than any other shooter in the competition and shooting above 90% on a very regular basis, she won the ANZ Championship's Best New Talent award, along with a slew of awards from her club, the Canterbury Tactix. She signed with them again for the 2015 and 2016 seasons and was one of their greatest assets.
After three years with the Tactix, Kumwenda signed with the Melbourne Vixens to play in the new Australian Suncorp Super Netball league. Kumwenda has been a damaging attacking player at the Vixens, though late in the 2018 season she suffered a serious knee injury, causing her to miss what is expected to be close to a year of netball.
- Player of the Tournament - 2015 Netball World Cup
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2012-12-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- http://www.maravipost.com/sports/netball/2222-malawi-queens-beat-australia-again-in-fast5-to-claim-5th-position.html[permanent dead link]
- Chilapondwa, Andrew Cane (30 October 2016). "Malawi Queens beat England to win bronze medal at Fast5 tourney". Malawi24. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
- Pearce, Linda (27 March 2014). "Mwai Kumwenda: the Malawi trailblazer". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Egan, Brendon (5 September 2013). "Malawi goal shoot Kumwenda signs for Tactix". Stuff.co.nz.
- Richard, Mphatso Khutcha (27 September 2016). "Mwawi Kumwenda 'excited' to join Australian giants Vixens". Malawi24. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
- "Kumwenda suffers ACL injury". The Women's Game. 31 July 2018.