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Adios Pauline Jani, sparkling Gem above the rest 

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By Darlington Gatsi


A bubble of emotions burst Friday as the sports fraternity bade farewell to former Zimbabwe Netball team player Pauline Jani who was buried in Chitungwiza.

Jani passed on in the early hours of Wednesday due to an undisclosed illness.

Her death marked an end to an illustrious career that spanned over a decade.

Jani illuminated herself at the Vitality Netball World Cup held in Liverpool in 2019 where Zimbabwe stole the hearts of many.

Former Gems coach Lloyd Makunde said Jani will go down as one of the best players that the game has ever produced.

“She was one hell of a good player, an irreplaceable player that was Pauline. She could not miss the net, she could rarely miss. It was something she had that is what made the name Pauline,” said Makunde.

Friends, family and colleagues turned up in numbers, giving a befitting send-off to Jani who transformed herself into a figure of netball excellence.

At 34 Jani’s light dimmed when she was still an influential player in the local league.

Gaffa, as she was widely known due to her precision in netball, scored a record 1065 goals in the Rainbow Netball League last season for ZRP Mambas.

Her longtime friend and former Gems captain Perpetua Siyachitema, reminiscing about the 2019 World Cup said Jani was a cut above the rest.

“Pauline was the best player we ever had. In 2019 Pauline could only play for like two quarters. I still remember when we played Jamaica, she only played for two quarters but she was nominated player of the match. She was passionate about netball,” said Siyachitema.