Faith Nyathi - Zimbabwe's Rising Star in Athletics

Discover the incredible journey of Zimbabwe-born Faith Nyathi, named the Women's Athlete of the Week twice by the Conference USA office. From her roots in Ndolwane, Plumtree, Zimbabwe to conquering the track in the United States, this article unveils her inspiring story

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In the world of athletics, where dreams are chased with unwavering determination, one name is making waves and capturing the hearts of sports enthusiasts worldwide – Faith Nyathi. Born on April 3, 2000, in the picturesque landscapes of Ndolwane in Matabeleland South's Bulilima district, Faith Tawanda Nyathi has emerged as a shining star in the realm of track and field. This article delves into the remarkable journey of Faith Nyathi, from her early days in Zimbabwe to her recent accolade as the Women's Athlete of the Week, announced by the Conference USA office in September 2023.

Here is an image of Faith Nyathi in action:

Faith Nyathi running in a race

Faith Nyathi: Zimbabwe Athlete

Faith Nyathi's journey began on the sun-kissed dusty tracks of Zimbabwe. She pursued her A-level education at Nketa High School in Bulawayo, where her athletic talents started to shine. Nyathi's dedication and exceptional skills on the track soon caught the attention of local athletics clubs. She became a proud member of the City Meats Athletics Club, a club sponsored by Bongani Ndlovu, the proprietor of City Meats Butchery, according to The Chronicle.

It was during this time that the South African-based former runner, Costa Takawira, stepped in to change the course of Nyathi's life. Takawira, himself a seasoned athlete, had a vision to empower young female athletes with the potential to excel academically and in sports through his Costa Takawira Mangwende Foundation, established in 2015. With the assistance of another ex-long-distance runner, Philemon Hanneck, who had acquired United States citizenship in 1999, Takawira secured a scholarship for Nyathi in the United States.

"We educate the girl child and empower the nation by focusing 80 percent on girls and 20 percent on boys. I am assisted by Hanneck, a former Olympian now based in America. He ensures they have accommodation, food, and clothing the moment they land in the US," Takawira explained, as quoted by The Chronicle. This initiative not only changed Nyathi's life but also set her on a path to achieve remarkable feats in the world of athletics.

A Journey to the United States

In 2021, Faith Nyathi's life took a significant turn when she was awarded an athletics scholarship to the United States of America. She embarked on her American journey, beginning at El Paso Community College (EPCC), where she continued to hone her athletic prowess. Nyathi's exceptional performances on the track at EPCC led to her being offered another scholarship opportunity, this time at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Excellence on the Track

Faith Nyathi's journey in the United States has been exceptional. Her dedication and unwavering commitment to her craft have propelled her to the pinnacle of collegiate athletics. In October 2022, Faith Nyathi was named the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division 1 Female Athlete of the Week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for the second time in the season, marking her fourth win of the award during her two years at EPCC.

However, her crowning moment came in September 2023 when the Conference USA office announced her as the Women's Athlete of the Week consecutively on the 5th and 19th marking the beginning of cross-country season for Middle Tennessee. This prestigious recognition solidified Nyathi's status as a rising star in the world of athletics. The Conference USA (CUSA) is an intercollegiate athletic conference, and Nyathi's achievement in this competitive arena is a testament to her remarkable talent and dedication.

The Road to Paris Olympics

Faith Nyathi's journey is far from over. With her remarkable performances on the track, she has become one of Zimbabwe's top runners. Her specialization in the 6km and 3,000m races showcases her versatility and endurance. As a young athlete with immense potential, Nyathi is setting her sights on a grand goal – qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics. With her tenacity and determination, she stands a great chance of representing her country on the global stage.

A Personal Best and a First-Place Finish

Nyathi's excellence extends beyond accolades and awards; it's about her relentless pursuit of excellence on the track. In a recent cross-country race in Memphis, she led the Middle Tennessee State University athletics team, known as the Blue Raiders, to a first-place finish ahead of formidable opponents such as Alabama and the University of Mississippi. 

Her time of 17:05.91 in the women's cross country was a personal best and secured her the first overall finish in a field of 181 runners. This achievement not only highlights her individual prowess but also her ability to lead her team to victory.


Faith Nyathi's journey from the sun-drenched tracks of Zimbabwe to the competitive arenas of the United States is a testament to her talent, determination, and the support of those who believed in her. Her recent recognition as the Women's Athlete of the Week by the Conference USA office is a milestone in her career, but it is clear that her story is still being written. With dreams of the Paris Olympics on the horizon, Faith Nyathi continues to inspire not only the Zimbabwean community but also sports enthusiasts worldwide. 

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Mungwadzi Godwin

twitterinstagramI like sharing positive stories about Zimbabweans at home and abroad. I also write articles on Personal Finance, Fashion, Music, and Tech. Let's connect!

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