FNB UCT flanker Sipho Dyonase believes through hard work he has put his dream of playing for the Stormers and the Springboks closer than it looks.
Born and bred in Masiphumelele in the Cape Peninsula, Dyonase lost his mom at the age of 15 and was raised by his mom's employers. He is studying for a Bachelor of Social Science degree, majoring in Psychology and Social Work at the University of Cape Town.
The 22-year-old said he never thought he would be a rugby player until one particular incident.
"My mom was late to fetch me from school one day and I thought let me just see what these people are about while waiting for her. One thing I first saw from the rugby players at school, was that they were so connected and I wanted to join something bigger than myself.
"I wanted to be part of a movement with different people, people of different races, a unification sport, where we will have one goal."
Dyonase has been a crucial part and key member of the Ikey Tigers team's success for a few years. Currently third on the log, their most impressive victory came in the second round, when they beat defending champions FNB UP-Tuks 42-19. (Watch the highlights HERE)
Dyonase believes with hard work and dedication, he will make it and be able to represent the Stormers and the Springboks.
"It looked like a far-fetched dream. The more I am progressing in my rugby, that dream is becoming more clear and more vivid. And thanks to my mom for that, she was that person to me, pushing me to reach the limits and be able to express myself. She was that sort of a support system for me."
Coming from a disadvantaged background, Dyonase wants to be able to make a difference in his community through rugby.
"I want to be someone who makes an impact in the community I come from. For me, that is also my biggest thing to show the people of Masiphumelele that you don't have to be a victim of your circumstances."
by Ayanda Frances Felem