Cape Town - University of Johannesburg
(UJ) student Stephen Bhasera has been honoured by his native country, Zimbabwe, for
his hard work and dedication to rugby.
The Varsity Cup prop, who has
been sadly sidelined for the season by an injury, has been nominated for the
Zimbabwe Achievers Awards in the Sports Personality of the Year category for
is an initiative that honours Zimbabweans who reside outside of their home
country and are doing commendable things in a variety of fields," said Bhasera, who will graduate from UJ with a law
degree in April.
covers categories from business to community work to academia, sports, culture
awards take place annually to honour Zimbabweans based in five different
countries and I have been nominated for Sports Personality of the Year for
South Africa 2019."
The 23-year-old Bhasera said
he was privileged to be considered for the award.
is a good feeling to receive the recognition, but also humbling to be named
among people such as Kaitano Tembo (SuperSport United coach) and Tapiwa Mafura,
who himself took the Varsity Cup by storm in 2018."
With his home base being
Kadoma in Zimbabwe, Bhasera lives in Atholl in Johannesburg, although he will
be leaving later this year to study in the United Kingdom.
Having initially received
offers to attend various top law schools around the world, Bhasera chose to
pursue his career in UJ.
took that route because I wanted to exhaust my desire to play professional
rugby and to play at the highest level,"
the Lions (rugby franchise) on board in terms of a contractual commitment was
the main motivation for deciding to take the SA route."
He turned out for the Lions
U19 team in 2015 and played for the province in the SuperSport Challenge and
the Currie Cup premier division.
After being part of the Young
Guns set-up at UJ, he graduated to the Varsity Cup squad this year before the
injury ended his future in the competition.
played the first three games of the season and then suffered an injury in
training that has put me out for the rest of the programme.
that my Varsity Cup experience has been largely positive - it's a unique
initiative that combines the benefits of top-level rugby with the perks of
studying at an institution of higher education.
wouldn't say I've found the
transition into Varsity Cup difficult or the games to be more physical than
what I've experienced before. However it is still an
extremely high level of rugby."
For now, though, his
sporting career will be on the backburner as he turns his attention to a
Masters in Law degree (LLM), starting in the UK in September.