On this week’s African Voices Changemakers, CNN International’s Arit Okpo meets rugby star turned philanthropist Tendai Mtawarira.
Johannesburg, South Africa (10 April 2021) – With 117 caps under his belt, Mtawarira is the most-capped Springbok forward of all time.
He takes CNN inside his trophy room and talks about his career.
“This is where I keep my most prized possessions, all the different accolades and achievements I got throughout my rugby career, so it’s very special. As you can see, I’ve got my Springbok World Cup Final jersey against England, and you know it just gives me goosebumps talking about it. I played 117 caps in my final game for the Springboks, and I got to win a World Cup, so really memorable, and I’m grateful for such an amazing career.”
Since winning the World Cup, Mtawarira has thrown himself into charity work, no longer measuring his success in wins and losses but in how many people he can help. Now, he plans to take his philanthropy to the next level, “The Beast Foundation that I’ve started, I think brings balance to everything that I want to do. Basically, I want to give back in a big way across the African continent. I want to inspire a generation of leaders and unlock the greatness within them, you know, and just really help this continent become as powerful as it could be through sport, education, and life skills development.”
CNN joins Mtawarira at the launch of the Beast Foundation. Here, Kudzai Mqingwana, the Director of the foundation, speaks about what makes Mtawarira perfect for his charitable role, “Tendai sees the power of his journey and the impact it can make on more than just one person’s life. How it can actually start to impact a community, a whole country, and a continent, he is looking at how we can have realistic development for someone who says, ‘I have a talent, but I want a future as well.’”
As well as launching his foundation, Mtawarira also runs a successful security business and is currently studying for a post-graduate diploma at the Henley Business School.
He discusses the importance of education.
“I think education is a solution to so many other problems we face in society today, and I really believe we can solve a lot of things through educating people. And adding on to the education also life skills, you really have to teach people how to be successful how to make good decisions in life.”
This outlook is something he hopes to pass on to the next generation. Mtawarira tells Okpo about the Beast Foundation’s work with children.
“I really enjoy working with young kids from all walks of life. We work with young kids from schools deep in the townships and from disadvantaged communities, all the way to private schools, you know, we don’t discriminate. We just want to give an opportunity to all deserving young kids out there who really just want to excel or do well in life.”
With all his achievements both on and off the pitch, Mtawarira is keen to use his story to inspire others. He sums up his feelings on success, “My definition of success, I think it’s probably the influence you have on others.”
This episode also meets Kenya’s Humphrey “Tall” Kayange. After retiring, Kayange co-founded the youth mentorship programme the Good Kenyan Foundation, and he talks to the programme about his work, “I have been blessed with the opportunity to have played this sport all over the world. I’ve been blessed with the successes and the failures, and just being able to give back to the community in whatever way is really fulfilling.”
‘African Voices Changemakers’ airs on Saturday 10th April at 1030 SAST on CNN International.
The show also airs at the following times:
- Sunday 11th April at 0530 SAST, 0830 SAST, 1330 SAST and 2030 SAST
- Monday 12th April at 0630 SAST