28 October 2022

Mahlangu has shown outstanding performance this year. She was part of the Mpumalanga ladies’ team that won a silver medal after beating Gauteng at the 2022 National Volleyball League (VSA NVL) tournament held last month  in Bloemfontein.

"I'm on top of the world," she said after receiving the co-curricular award. "This is a huge honour for me. I am very proud of myself and my efforts. This award is proof that hard work does pay off.

I’m grateful. I thank and appreciate everybody that has shown me love and supported me. This would not be possible without my family’s moral support and inspiration; they are truly my backbone."

Mahlangu is currently the captain of the UMP Volleyball ladies’ team. She reveals that since taking up the leading role, the team has improved its performance and is winning games.

“The UMP female volleyball team is new to University Sports South Africa (USSA), but we have managed to win three games in the USSA. Our strategic plan relies strongly on improving our physical fitness, having a positive attitude, being focused, and practicing hard and smart.

Being part of the team means that I'm capable of playing and that  l am good at the sport. It also means that I am  recognised in the province, hence I got selected." 

UMPBongiwe was recognised by UMP for her sterling performance in volleyball.

Mahlangu started playing volleyball as a pastime when she was in grade seven. “I took it lightly and didn’t put my heart into it until 2017, when I was in grade 10 and met my former coach, Mr Bhiya for the first time. He saw my potential and trained me to become a better player,” she says, adding that her love for the sport just grew from there.

"Mr Bhiya then introduced me to the Nkangala Volleyball League, which I am still part of. He has been training and encouraging me for five years."

Mahlangu says UMP has supported her in realising her dream of playing for her province. “The university has supported me financially and assisted me to balance school and playing volleyball.”

The 21-year-old looks up to Emmah Skhosana, a volleyball star from Mpumalanga, because of her tactics on the field, her commitment, and teachings about teamwork. “Skhosana inspires me to achieve more,” she concludes.

@ Cleopatra Makhaga. Pictures supplied.