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All-American Excels On and Off Field

Mzwandile "Muzi" Ginindza, a junior from the Kingdom of Swaziland, recently received the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All American Scholar-Athlete Award.

Mzwandile "Muzi" Ginindza

Muzi received this award for playing well on the soccer field and earning higher than a 3.5 grade point average. "Receiving this award gives me a very beautiful feeling," says Muzi.

Muzi was born into a soccer-playing family in which eight of his uncles experienced at the sport. "Soccer just came naturally to me," he says. Muzi started playing on a team at age nine, which was managed by his father. Afterwards he was recruited by a city team.

Muzi's talent became evident after his father told him to quit playing soccer, fearing it would interfere with school. "This award has proved that I have been able to maintain an efficient equilibrium between my school work and passion for soccer," Muzi adds, which is why he has respectfully dedicated the award to his father.

As a child, Muzi encountered problems while playing soccer on a team with several of his uncles. "Traditionally, you don't call your elder relatives by name at home- so you can imagine how much trouble I went through when calling for the ball. I eventually opted to just whistling," he says.

Muzi's biggest challenge occurred in 2004. An opponent ran into his legs and broke two bones in his right leg. Metal screws and pins were inserted into his leg during surgery, and Muzi thought he would never play soccer again; however, he healed and got medical clearance to play again. After returning to the field Muzi realized he could not run quite as fast and the weather changes caused pain in his injured leg. But, "like a true Swazi Warrior, I stood up to the challenge," Muzi states.

Muzi gives credit to Coach David Vaughn and his teammates for their support during his rehabilitation and to the trainers at the Seabury Center for their care and patience.

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