Cape Town – A small group of avid rugby fans and junior players received a once-ina-lifetime experience of an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Cape Town Stadium led by one of South Africa’s most famed rugby players – the “Beast”.
Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira gave the group a raw look into his personal life and journey through the stadium tour on Tuesday, taking them to see areas mostly inaccessible to the everyday spectator.
The tour was made possible through a competition held by AEG South Africa, of which Mtawarira is a brand ambassador.
The empty arena provided an intimate backdrop for one-on-one questions and photo opportunities.
The group was able to take the same route as professional players would from the moment the team’s bus arrives at the Team A entrance to the changing rooms to the tunnel through to the stadium.
The former Springbok prop shared pre- and post -game traditions, including their full body submersions in ice water.
Langa rugby student Katlego Nxazonke from Curro Delft High School said: “It’s quite an experience being here because I get to actually meet a Springbok player that I’ve been watching for the longest time.
“My teammates and I have always dreamt of becoming Springbok players so this is the start of that and we started playing rugby this year.
“Being in this space is actually a peak opportunity.”
Mtawarira said the biggest challenge was taking losses. “That was something I struggled with. I almost got into a state of depression after we lost a match. I started to actually work on it very early on in my career. Things happen for a reason and sometimes a loss is a win because you can learn a lot, you can grow from it.”
One of the scariest moments? “As an athlete, you never want to hear that your heart is malfunctioning. That was a tough moment for me but I also learnt a lot and grew.”
The Zimbabwean-South African’s professional rugby career spanned 13 years, with the former Sharks and Springbok player now working on a special wine collection.