Story by Lawrence Trusida
NEW Gems goal shooter, Nalani Makune is over the moon after representing her country for the first when Zimbabwe played Australia in their opening Pool A match at the 2023 Netball World Cup in South Africa this Friday.
Nalani Makunde was born and raised in Australia to Zimbabwean parents, and many were surprised when she was named in the Gems World Cup squad as she was virtually unknown.
Now proud of her first national team cap, her performance on the grand stage has highlighted exactly why head coach Ropafadzo Mutsauki and his technical department named a player who had not even trained with the squad for the World Cup.
In a dull game for the team, Nalani stood out especially in the first quarter with her movements and hunger for the ball that kept the Australians on their toes.
Makunde plays for Capital Darters based in Canberra, in the Australian Netball Championship and she also represents Brisbane South Wildcats in the Hart Sapphire Series in Queensland.
The soft-spoken shooter who also plays basketball was delighted to finally represent Zimbabwe.
“I think it was cool and it was a special feeling for me especially to debut against Australia it was like my two countries, so it helped me settle, but it’s good to finally get it over with but I just told myself netball is the same,” said Makunde.
Makunde is looking forward to helping the Gems achieve their first win at the tournament when they take on Fiji this Saturday.