The sky is the limit for Inanda’s rugby player
DESPITE growing up in Inanda, north of Durban, where rugby is not popular, Sibusiso Sangweni’s talent with the oval ball has powered his destiny into the Sharks U16 and U18 teams.
Sangweni, 17, was only 12 years old when he lost both his parents. He thought that would be the end of his dream of becoming a rugby superstar, until his “guardian angels” came to his rescue.
The left flank started schooling in Esikhululiwe Primary, also in Inanda, and his eagerness and potential on the rugby field secured him a scholarship to study at Durban Preparatory High School (DPHS), where he completed his primary education.
After completing Grade 7, the future looked uncertain as he had not reached his growth spurt, which meant high schools had no interest in him despite him having shown potential when he played U13 rugby at DPHS.
The turnaround moment came when parents at Kearsney College, in Botha’s Hill, west of Durban, and parents of former DPHS pupils recommended him for a Kearsney College bursary due to his dedication on the rugby field.
“This opportunity came at a very critical time of my life. I was going through a difficult time after losing my parents and I wasn’t sure about the direction my life was taking,” said Sangweni.
He lauded his primary school trainer and mentor, Zola Mazwi, and those who had rooted for him.
Sangweni made a historic debut when he was recently selected to the Sharks U16 side that played in the final of the Grand Khomo Week and the Sharks U18 Academy team that played during Craven Week.
“I have not reached where I want to be, but I am privileged and humbled for what I have achieved thus far and for the support from my school,” he said.
He said he had been inspired by his brothers, Thabani and Felokwakhe, whom he described as diehard rugby fans.
His vision is to play for the Sharks senior team and ultimately for the Springboks.
“My advice to my fellow youth, especially those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds like myself, is that when you are afforded an opportunity, use it to the fullest,” he said.
Mazwi said he was proud of the progress Sangweni had made in life.
“He has grown to be a humble young man who just needed an opportunity in life,” he said.