Quick Tap with Suleiman Hartzenberg

PUBLISHED: May 15, 2024

Speedster Suleiman Hartzenberg told us about growing up watching his brother Yaya play, the most stylish DHL Stormers and rooming with Kwenzo ‘silent night’ Blose.

Your older brother Yaya is also a professional rugby player. Do you have any special memories of watching him play when you were younger?

It actually brings back so many memories. I remember every Saturday I would play my game quite early in the morning for my club and then I’d make it my mission to be at home or make it home just in time before Yaya left for his game. From there I was with him basically every Saturday watching the boys play at Newlands. It really brought lots of joy and put a smile on my face. It was the Vodacom Cup and I remember our skills coach Labeeb (Levy) was part of the DHL Western Province coaching team and I think Ali Vermaak was even part of the mix then. It was just a great experience watching them.

You are one of four players from Bishops who now play for the DHL Stormers. What was it like playing with the likes of Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, Connor Evans and Imad Khan at school?

Unfortunately I didn’t get to play a lot of rugby at school with Sacha and Connor, but the time we spent on the field together was always memorable. We always had a blast, it was so much fun. Then with my boy Immy (Khan) it was always fun, you knew he would always be on the inside of you if you made a linebreak. We always had a good connection on the field. Sometimes I do miss playing with him because it has been a while, but always fun playing with the boys.

You clearly have a love for fashion. How would you define your style and is it something you are interested in pursuing outside of rugby? Which teammates would you say have the best fashion sense?

I definitely do have a love for fashion, but there isn’t one word or one phrase I would say can describe my style. I like to think of it as more diverse, mixing it up and not being one-dimensional. I like trying a bit of everything and seeing what works and what doesn’t work for me. I’m probably not as edgy as Hacjivah (Dayimani) but I might step out of my comfort zone. The guys I would say are quite stylish are Hacjivah obviously, he has his own style and is always testing boundaries. Damian (Willemse) as well, he has got the clean, ‘preppy boy’ look that he goes for. Then there are some of the other boys who you can see do show up now and then and you can see ‘ok’ they can show some flames.

You went on exchange in Wales while you were at school. What memories do you have of your time there and do you ever catch up with any old friends when on tour with the DHL Stormers over there?

My exchange in Wales was definitely a memorable one, I enjoyed every moment. Travelling abroad for the first time by myself was a massive eye-opener as well. It was an amazing experience because I got to learn some new things and some things about myself as well. I made some unbelievable friends as well who I keep in contact with. Touring over in the UK for the Vodacom URC actually allows me to see them more often, so I really enjoy coming over here and seeing my old mates.

You are rooming on tour with Kwenzo Blose who is notoriously quiet. Have you guys had some good chats?

Rooming with Kwenzo has definitely been memorable. He is not as quiet as everyone makes him out to be, he actually does chat a bit although there are moments where you would think there is no-one else in the room, but Kwenzo is still there. He has got a vast amount of knowledge where any topic you bring up he will spit some facts back at you or teach you something that you didn’t know. He is a man who knows a lot and has an unbelievable amount of chat when you are alone with him, but I would say in a group setting he is probably not as chatty.