Gokwe born tennis umpire playing in England; Kossam Mhangani has engraved his name in the history books of success after clinching the coveted Surrey Lawn Tennis Association official of the year for a sterling season at Wimbledon.
He is the first Zimbabwean to pocket this award, though he was third to officiate in the grand Wimbledon after the late Ngoni Kufa and Ruramayi Rukuni.
Mhangani has been in the England fold for a long time and has umpired some of the best tennis tourneys including the revered trio of Raphael Nadal, Roger Federar and Novac Jokovic.
He also had several stints in matches that included women best tennis players, the Williams sisters, Serena and Vinice and Russian Maria Sharapova.
Mhangani was elated upon being honored by Surrey Lawn Tennis Association.
“I am super proud of this achievement and honestly I have never imagined that from Gokwe, I’ll win this accolade well beyond my dreams,” he said.
“I have always loved tennis, coached it, enjoyed it but I never thought from Gokwe I would get this big recognition and for that I give credit to all those who stood by me,” he said.
“There is no better place to play tennis. There are four grand slams but Wimbledon remains the best. Any tennis play will testify that.
“Playing there is specially and especially for me it is special as I have officiated some of the world great tennis players such as Raphael Nadal, Roger Federar, Novac Jokovic, Serena and Vinice Williams and Sharapova. I urge our local tennis players to dream big,” he added.
Mhangani says that he is sad after the Covid-19 pandemic plundered scheduled matches that would connect him further to the game he loves most.
“It’s a sad that there will be no more tennis action this year because of the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic. Tennis action would have been a perfect tribute to myself considering the received accolade.
“The game has not just achieved accolades but broken barriers in our lives as blacks,” he further said.