Exclusive Interview: Tendai ”The Beast” Mtawarira

Exclusive Interview: Tendai ”The Beast” Mtawarira


He continues to create ardent followers even among non-die hard rugby fans and the sport’s most aspiring young ones take him as a role model.

Blessed with an intimidating body presence at 116 kilograms and standing at 1.83 meters in height, he commands ferocious resilience and fitness on the field of play. No wonder fans affectionately call him the “Beast”.

Tendai plays the position of a loosehead prop for the Sharks in South Africa and has over the years become a regular feature in the line ups of the country’s national rugby union team, commonly known as the Springboks.

Tendai is a proud family man

A family man and Christian, he was born on 1 August 1985 in Harare, where he played street soccer as a young boy, like most kids.

He attended for 5 years Churchill School, a public, day and boarding high school for boys located in Harare’s Eastlea low density suburb. When he was only 15 years of age and while at the school, he was spotted by legendary coach Joey Muwadzuriwho then invited him to be part of the Under 19 side at the National Schools Festival.

Within the same year, he was selected to feature in a Cats and Dogs Rugby Academy Team that won the National Seniors 7’s Tournament. He played with other equally notable stars including Dan Hondo, Pete Benade and Tonderai Chavhanga.

Tendai known as the beast in action

From Churchill he was given a full scholarship to Peterhouse Boys’ School, an independent school in Mashonaland East’s Marondera.

After his A Levels in Harare, he moved to Durban in 2005 and enrolled in the Sharks Academy. Two years later he made his Super Rugby entrance followed by a Springbok debut in 2008, marking the beginning of an outstanding and rewarding professional sporting career.

Since his early sporting days and up to now, Tendai displays unbelievable strength and desire to always learn to move along with his colleagues.

Among the most special accolades he has won is the title of the most capped Springbok prop of all time. He says: “This means a lot especially considering where I have come from”.

Despite his fame, Tendai helps to nurture emerging talents back in Zimbabwe, where he makes sure to support those in need and he explains: “I obviously want to inspire the next generation of rugby players, something I am already doing when I go home on holidays”.

Privileged to have the world at his feet and also now resident in South Africa, a country that continually exposes him to world class rugby standards, Tendai is involved in social responsibility programmes.

“I am involved with my wife’s charity called “My Sisters Keeper” and which aims to raise awareness of the various issues faced in society”, he explains.

Talking about the general future of rugby in Zimbabwe, he said: “There’s plenty of talent in the country especially coming through the Old Mutual Development Program. The key is to provide an environment where this talent can be nurtured and given the right tools to succeed at the next level.”

He also does work in deprived areas with Kyros Sports, where they provide rugby coaching, life skills and also pathways in the form of scholarships to schools and universities around the world. “There is however still room to do more and we are always looking for more opportunities to be impactful,” explains Tendai.

Kyros Sports was founded by Kudakwashe “Kisset” Chirengende and operates from 14 Launchlan Avenue, in Harare’s Meryrick Park.

Tendai’s ongoing contribution to the game of rugby is not only enormous, so it is hoped that his expertise, complimented by a great partnership with a leading sports management company, will continue to influence rugby in Zimbabwe, South Africa, the African continent and overseas.

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