The Secret Life of Brian Mujati
Posted Thu, 10 Mar 2011
I turned around and looked behind me at a beautiful sunset over the distant horizon at Cape Town International. At that moment I remembered a similar sight. It was a cold Saturday morning and I was a standing on the Beitbridge looking across the Limpopo. Standing on the edge of Zimbabwe, I watched the sun rise across the South African sky.
To everyone else waiting for the bus to come around the border post and pick us up, it was just another day and they were halfway to Joburg. For me it was the beginning of my greatest journey; one that would probably cost me everything. I had fantasised about doing this for as long as I could remember.
How would I measure up? Would I be big enough? Strong enough? Fast enough? Did I even have the talent? Who knows really — all I had (as corny as it sounds), was a dream. The one hope I that I had kept warm inside my heart was clouded in doubt. And with good reason, I might add. There was no offer of a contract, no bursary, and no accommodation. I didn't even own a pair of boots anymore.
All I had was a name — Hugo van As — his phone number and his promise that I could play in a practice game for the lions u20 side the following week. The circumstances under which I'd got that name and number were beyond ridiculous, I can assure you — a story I'll save for another time.
Here I was: an 18-year-old full of zeal on my way to taking my half-chance at becoming a professional rugby player.
Now, six years later, on a late Sunday afternoon, I was looking back at South Africa one last time. With a quirky smirk, I thought to myself, ''Well, fat boy, it was pretty messy in some parts, ugly in others, but you did it! You fucken did it!"
The ticket read: Brian Mujati, seat 35A, CPT to Heathrow, business class. And, with a sigh of relief, I picked up my daughter Alannah and followed my newly pregnant wife onto the plane. I was off to Northampton, England, to have a go at playing for the Saints. It was finally time for a new adventure.
Join me as I try to make sense of this crazy journey I've travelled for what now seems like forever. I'll try to share my experiences here in Europe and reflect on those in Africa. I'm no writer, but hopefully you'll enjoy seeing the life of a rugby player through the eyes and growing perspective of one Brian Mujati.
A small world full of disproportionately large ideas and, of course, the truth. My truth, to be specific, for I’ve learnt that the truth is a fact based entirely on one’s perspective. Thus the truth varies, but can be narrowed down to how you choose to perceive reality. This is my reality. Maybe you shouldn't be reading that last part… I just made it all up. Told you, I’m no writer! Anyway it's 11.45pm and I have training first thing tomorrow morning. Stay tuned… peace!