‘BULLYING IS UGLY AND HAS LONG-TERM EFFECTS,’ EX-BULLY BEAST TELLS PUPILS
“BEAST” was a big boy, aggressive and a bully, but he decided to channel his strength into rugby.
Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira, the Zimbabweborn Sharks and Springbok prop, this week joined a campaign to combat bullying in schools.
He told hundreds of primary school pupils in Johannesburg that he knew what bullying did to people and that it had long-term effects.
“It stays with you, even when you’re an adult, and it causes you to make bad decisions,” he said.
Mtawarira was not a bully because he had troubles at home.
He bullied other children simply because he was big.
“But I decided to use that strength in sport,” he said.
His seven-year-old daughter was bullied recently, he said, and more than once came home complaining about bullies.
“I remember how angry I got and I wanted to go to the school to confront the bullies, but that is not the way to do things.
“You just get angry when your kids get pushed around at school,” he said.
It is just something he does not want his children to go through.
“I always wanted to be an inspiration to children. Children who are bullied need to speak up. Don’t stay silent. Don’t be a victim. Stand up against it. There are ways to talk about it.
“Tell someone. Speak to a leader who is not afraid of telling teachers,” he said.
Mtawarira added that it is unfair that children who are going through a phase take it out on others.
To the bullies, he said: “It’s a bad thing. It’s ugly and has long-term consequences.
“Use other ways, like sport, to channel your aggression, or speak to someone if you need help.” — WR.