Read of the Week

Beast

Andy Capostagno

Panmacmillan

Review: Lindiwe Mlandu

Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira teamed up with Andy Capostagno to write a book about his life. The 2019 Rugby World Cup winner takes us back to his home in Zimbabwe.

Beast was introduced to rugby at primary school. He was always bigger than his peers and he had a huge appetite. He went to Churchill Boys’ High School and that’s where he fell in love with rugby. He played on the flank and at age 15, he played for the school’s first team. He weighed 102kgs and was 1.79 metres tall.

He later moved to Peterhouse. How he got into the school is testament to the Beast’s strong-will. His father could not afford the school and they did not offer sport scholarships. This did not deter the Beast. He went to the school to explain his situation. The board decided to take him in. From there, he went on to join the Sharks academy in 2005.

At his first season for the Sharks under-21, he was moved to lock. This frustrated him. The following year, Sharks coach Dick Muir, basically told him that he would never become a Springbok as a flank. He suggested that he switch to loosehead prop.

Beast was crushed. But he decided to give it a try.

Balie Swart worked with Beast to help with his transition. Dick was right because the Beast made it into the Springboks as a loosehead.

Former Bok coach Peter de Villiers was the one who gave the Beast a break.

Despite this, the Beast believes that Peter was not the right man to lead the Boks. He believes he was out of his depth.

Then the nationality saga happened. This came after he’d played 19 Tests for the Boks. Beast opens up about the toll it took on him.

The book details his high and lows, family life, friendships and his strong Christian beliefs. It’s an inspirational story that everyone will enjoy.