FNB Varsity Cup caught up with FNB Wits' winger Kwanele Ngema, who is originally from a township just outside of Durban called KwaMashu.
Ngema is currently enjoying his second stint in the FNB Varsity Cup with FNB Wits. Kwanele and his team, who have had a great start to the season, unfortunately suffered their first defeat at the hands of FNB Shimlas in the Free State last night.
Ngema, however, who is a former Greytown High school scholar, is known to possess elusive pace with great agility to beat his defenders around the outside in the number 14 jumper.
Kwanele Ngema is currently in his fourth year of his Bachelor of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Ngema is also no stranger to lifting Varsity Cup silverware. He first debuted for FNB Wits back in 2016 in the Varsity Shield, which him and his teammates went on to win, leading them back into the FNB Varsity Cup. 2017 was a fairly good year for Kwanele, who not only represented FNB Wits in their best season in FNB Varsity Cup history, but also earned himself a spot in the Lions Under-21 side. Other significant milestones in Ngema’s young career have seen him represent the Under-18 KZN county and districts sides in 2013 and 2014.
Rugby is a sport that one usually finds a passion for at a very young age. Kwanele was no different in this regard, but with him the real passion for pursuing it as a career came late.
“I started playing rugby in grade 1 at Penzance Primary School in Durban, so I’ve been playing for about 15 years but I only started taking my rugby seriously in grade 11,” Ngema explained.
At times as people it is important not to become too obsessed with our careers, but keep a balance with other important facets of life. Ngema does not only play rugby and focus on his academics; he has his own way of channeling focus on his general dreams in life.
“I love reading daily devotionals, especially by TD Jakes in my spare time. It helps me channel my focus, on the dreams I aspire to.”
The FNB Varsity Cup has been a competition that’s assisted many players to reach their goals, even at times when they have been overlooked at school level.
“Varsity Cup means everything to me, it’s a great platform to showcase your talents, especially if you didn’t make Craven Week, Baby Boks or provincial rugby after high school. I’m also grateful that I can study towards my other passion while doing what I absolutely love.
“I aspire to be a professional rugby player, but if my rugby doesn’t work out my other dream is to be a great history teacher,” Ngema adds.
FNB Varsity Cup players usually have to work extra hard in order to stay afloat in their academics as this is one of the important parts of the competition.
“My ideal day is to go to gym in the morning, class, then training in the evening and getting into my books after training. I by all means try to be ahead with my school work so I can strike a balance between my studying and rugby as well.”
The speedster bases a lot of his game on respect and his faith in God, his advice to younger rugby players still looking to come into the Varsity Cup is, "Hard work, it’s a cliche statement but that’s what it takes to play in this competition. Being engaged in consistent action, even when things don’t go your way, keep your head up and go again, eventually things will come right.”
Twitter praises Ngema
Kwanele ends the interview off by sharing the FNB Wits teams aspirations for the 2018 FNB Varsity Cup campaign. “The Varsity Cup goal this season is for us to be better as a team, to trust our processes and the outcome will take care of itself. But most importantly enjoy every second of Varsity Cup rugby.”