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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

Bongi Mbonambi turns dream into reality by launching scholarship at former high school

Despite his former school losing against St. John’s, the hooker was happy to be present on the day and launch his scholarship.

Two-time World Cup winning hooker Bongi Mbonambi launched the Bongi Mbonambi Scholarship at St. Albans College in Pretoria on Saturday.

Mbonambi, who is one of the frontrunners to captain the Springboks in next weekend’s one-off Test against Wales at Twickenham launched the foundation while attending Old Boys’ Day.  

Despite his former school losing against St. John’s, the Sharks hooker was happy to be present on the day and launch his scholarship.

“It’s good to be back at the All Star Big Round, but today obviously wasn’t a good day but we move on. [The atmosphere] was pretty awesome, I got to launch my scholarship today, Bongi Mbonambi Scholarship which is pretty awesome, I’m pretty grateful and honoured for everyone who got involved,” he said speaking to the school’s media.

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Giving back

In 2007 Mbonambi was selected to represent the Griffons at the Grant Khomo week in Durban and there he excelled, to such an extent that the Blue Bulls’ recruitment team noticed him.

As part of the Blue Bulls’ development programme, he was given the opportunity to complete his last two school years at St Albans College, while he also represented the Blue Bulls at the Craven Week.

In his matric year, 2009, Mbonambi also made the SA Schools team. He then stayed in Pretoria with a junior contract from the Blue Bulls, while in 2011 he was selected by Dawie Theron for the Junior Springboks.

Mbonambi launched the scholarship by announcing 15 years-old Wandile Mbatha as a beneficiary.

“He began his education at Boskop primary, where he discovered his passion for rugby,” read the statement from the Bok’s foundation.

“In Grade 10, Wandile received a scholarship to St. Albans College, a testament to his hard work and dedication. His career flourished as he played as a flanker for the Blue Bulls U15 Rhino Wek in 2023.” The young Mbatha is currently the Blue Bulls U16 Grant Khomo flank and also plays for the U16A team of St Albans College.

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