There is definately no age limit to how far you can pursue passion and South African school teacher Misokuhle Mbanjwa, is doing just that.
22 years after she was introduced to the game,60 year-old Misokuhle is steadily carrying on with her passion for rugby by coaching kids’ team in Inanda, a suburb of Sandton, Johannesburg South Africa.
According to IOL, her journey began during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, which South Africa hosted. She was impressed by the beauty of the game and the sheer talent of players like Jonah Lomu.
“I saw Mandela with the Springboks, and I saw that this thing is beautiful. It was the first time in my life I had seen rugby. I was like wow! I saw Jonah Lomu, who was a tough guy. I had that seed of wanting to do it,” she recalled.
Inspired to go into action, she started taking coaching classes with the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union in 1999.The 60-year-old Mbanjwa, who teaches at eQinisweni Primary School in Inanda, coaches about 200 children from under-9 to under-13 age groups, who train five days a week.
In 2013, her team was the South African Under-9 champions in Tag Rugby. While this achievement gives her joy, she’s proud that she has given the kids a better future as she believes that one of the pupils she coaches will play for the Sharks one day.
Mbanjwa who is faced with challenges such as lack of sports field, language barrier, and transportation.
“I have to use a park and before games I’ve had to show players where the 22-metre lines and other markings were.
“Language is another challenge. Referees (use) English, which is not the players’ first language.
“But the worst challenge is transport.”
The school gets invitations to play at more privileged schools, but those schools cannot travel to Inanda as there is no sports field.
“Our school is a no-fee school. So I have to use my car and other teachers’ cars,” Mbanjwa said.
Misokuhle Mbanjwa good work have also been celebrated and recognized by the by South Africa’s Tag Rugby Association.