Malawi National Netball Team star Joyce Mvula has maintained her big-name status on the global stage, with world-renowned netball manufacturer Gilbert continuing to market a ball in her name.
Towards the end of 2019, Gilbert unveiled the ball after Mvula made headlines with her five-star performance for Manchester Thunder in England’s Vitality Netball Super League.
The netball appears on netballuk.co.uk with Mvula’s signature and is due to be dispatched again to the market tomorrow at a cost of about K16,000 each.
It is selling at a 25 percent discount rate from the original price of about K21,300 each.
The ball looks elegant in Malawi’s national colours of green, red and black which are printed in triangular shapes.
There are two themes, ‘Keep On Moving’ and ‘Pitirizani Kuyenda’, printed on the ball besides the words ‘Malawi Queen’ which appear in different fonts in several parts.
The website netballuk.co.uk describes the ball as featuring a personalised design chosen by Mvula to showcase her unique style.
“This is an exclusive netball and features the signature of the Malawi Queen and Manchester Thunder Superleague champion,” the description reads.
The website states that the ball has a blended rubber surface with a cotton multi-laminate. It has a synthetic latex bladder and is available in size five only. The netball is suitable for training and match play.
Mvula said she signed a year-long deal with Gilbert and was looking forward to renewing it.
“This is my ball which Gilbert has been selling in the year 2020. There has been demand for it because people have seen me play for Manchester Thunder. I have been benefitting from the agreement both financially and materially.
“Gilbert has been paying me from sales of the ball. I have also been getting merchandise from their shops free-of-charge. What remains now is that we should enter negotiations for another deal,” she said.
Netball Association of Malawi General Secretary Carol Bapu said she was aware of the deal.
“This arrangement has been there for some time now. We knew about it in 2019 but I do not have any details about what it entails,” Bapu said.
Mvula is a big name in England’s netball circles after inspiring her team to the 2019 league title.
The former Blue Eagles attacker’s performances won the hearts of Sky Sports’ netball followers who voted her Player of the Year.
She also earned the Best Shooter accolade at her club, Manchester Thunder.