Middle East

Tendai Mtawarira: Beast Who Turned Dreams into Reality

Tendai Mtawarira

Tendai Mtawarira doesn’t need an introduction, his efforts in helping the South African Rugby team win the 2019 World Cup speak for him. While his journey from rags to riches is nothing short of phenomenal, it is his role in the World Cup that will play a prime role in rooting out racial discrimination from the country.

Popularly known as the Beast, Mtawarira’s journey has been full of obstacles from his early days. Recalling the tough times during an interview, he mentioned how he used to drive to his training on a donated bicycle and how he had not much to wear.

During the interview, Tendai Mtawarira also expressed his gratefulness towards all the help he received while recalling the hardships he faced. He said, “It was really hard for me coming from Zimbabwe. I wasn’t well-resourced. And the possibility of not playing for the Springboks after the citizenship saga is one thing that took a toll on me.”

“If it wasn’t for a few people, especially Desmond Tutu, who came to my aid and helped me get my citizenship, I wouldn’t be here. So I’m really grateful to the Arch,” he added. Even though the Beast dedicates much of his success to all those who helped him, it was his hard work and yearning to never stop playing that helped him the most.

The grandeur of his entire journey can be comprehended from the fact that he has won a total of 117 caps in international rugby, making him one of the most revered rugby players not only in the African continent but also across the world. Additionally, when he announced his retirement, social media platforms flooded with heartfelt messages acknowledging his contribution to the game.

Besides dominating the field with his striking gameplay, Beast is very much into the social cause he took upon himself to ensure that no other kid has to experience what he did. Thoughts of former Zimbabwe captain Denford Mutamangira and the fact that he has established a foundation to expand the overreach of rugby even to the most remote areas in Zimbabwe are the prime examples that set him as a great person apart from being a great player.

Tendai Mtawarira considers winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup as the highlight of his life and biggest achievement. Speaking about the same he said, “I think winning the [2019] World Cup was really special, especially with Siya as a black captain. It brought the country together. I had no idea what it really meant to the country until we actually got to South Africa and did the trophy tours around the country.”

“So many people came out to cheer the moment, that’s when I realised that this thing has just really impacted the entire country. I feel that the other World Cups would have been special, but I feel this one, particularly at this point in time, has been pretty special especially with how the team achieved it.”

After an exhilarating journey that is inspiring for almost every player, Tendai Mtawarira will now be playing in the US as he was signed by the Washington, DC-based Major Rugby League Club Old Glory.