Q&A with Tonderai Chavhanga

PUBLISHED: May 4, 2005

Q: I know your nickname is Tondi, which is pretty obvious, but I’m sure the Investec Stormers guys have a special nickname for you.
A: Some call me Zim. Also quite obvious.


Q: Your brother was a Gladiator. Have you ever dreamt of also becoming one?
A: No. My heart has always been in rugby.

Q: Let’s say you did. What would your Gladiator stage name be?
A: Tiger. They are beautiful and strong animals.

Q: How are you enjoying Cape Town?
A: I’m loving it. It has such a relaxing nature. I love everything about it.

Q: What is a typical day off for you?
A: I’ve found a new love – golf. I go to the driving range whenever I get a chance. But it’s too soon to talk about my handicap. So please don’t ask.

Q: What is your favourite place in the Western Cape?
A: I haven’t had time to go to too many places yet, but I’d have to choose Hermanus.

Q: Back to rugby. At what moment in history did you decide that you wanted to become a rugby player?
A: Watching the 1995 World Cup. I loved the vibe and thought then it was a great team sport. I wanted to be part of that.

Q: Who is your all-time greatest player?
A: Chester Williams, Jonah Lomu, André Joubert and Ray Mordt. From the current players Breyton Paulse has helped me a lot.

Q: What is the funniest incident you’ve experienced on a rugby field?
A: When I played U16 one of my friends dove over the 22m line for a try, thinking he had made it to the tryline. Everyone on the field canned themselves.

Q: Which player would you like to punch, knowing you won’t be cited?
A: Nobody really. I never get the punching urge. I enjoy playing with and against anyone.

Q: I heard you recently got your drivers license and Werner Greeff was the one that taught you. Who was most nervous? You or Werner?
A: Werner might have been a bit nervous. Especially as we once almost drove into a police car with me behind the steering wheel.

Q: What is your worst habit?
A: I have so many habits it will take time to shift through them. But I do get very grumpy when I get hungry.

Q: And what is your best characteristic?
A: My friends will have to tell you that.

Q: If you are stranded on a deserted island, which team-mate would you like to be stranded with and why?
A: Eddie Andrews. We get along well and I love his singing. It’s so bad that it’s entertaining.

Q: Which TV programme do you love watching and might surprise your fans that you are watching it at all?
A: I used to watch the Bold and the Beautiful, but I had to get more serious. Now I love watching CSI.

Q: Who makes you laugh in the Investec Stormers squad?
A: Rob Linde and Faan Rautenbach. Rob doesn’t have to put in any effort to be funny. He just is.

Q: And cry?
A: Luke Watson. Because he is just so passionate about what he does.

Q: Who is the most beautiful woman in the world?
A: My mother.

Q: If not a rugby player, what would you have become?
A: Probably a sprinter.

Q: What is your most precious rugby memory?
A: When the Investec Stormers thrashed the Blues last year. And when we won the Dubai Sevens.

Q: We all know you are exceptionally fast. What would make you run faster than you’ve ever run before?
A: I don’t get spooked easily, so I won’t run away from something. But I’ll run my fastest to score a try against the All Blacks.

Q: Has Jake White asked you for your jersey size yet?
A: (Laughs) No.

Q: Would you look good in green?
A: I wouldn’t know. Will have to wait and see.

Marina Zietsman