Varsity Shield Semi – Finals

Nelson Mandela University’s Varsity Shield team is through to the 2019 finals! Thursday 4 April saw the FNB Madibaz team beat FNB UKZN 46-0 in a superior display of rugby skills played on home ground.  

A tunnel made by The Southern Kings rugby players and Madibaz cheerleaders for the NMU boys started the match in a fierce manner and this fight continued until the final whistle of the match, with some decent points scored in the last few minutes. This Madibaz fire was seen off the field as well, as Buhle BenMazwi was named NMU’s Miss Varsity Shield 2019 and will represent Madibaz at the Miss Varsity Shield Final 2019. Other off-field entertainment included displays by the Madibaz cheerleaders, a spectator dance-off and a build-a-burger competition sponsored by Steers. 

The cold and typical Port Elizabeth wind did not seem to affect the Madibaz team nor their supporters as they cheered and chanted the boys to their sixth win, leaving them undefeated in the lead up to the finals against Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), whom NMU beat in round one 38 – 21. Hopefully, they can repeat this victory on Thursday 11 April. 

So warm up your vocal cords, wear your Madibaz navy and yellow and bring your gees to the NMU stadium on Thursday at 18:15 and do your part to help motivate our boys to win the Varsity Shield tournament. 

Photo of the Varsity Shield Semi-Finals post-match: Gina Cossavella 

Madibaz prove success story in SWD cricket

The Madibaz cricket team have sent out a message that they are a club to be taken seriously after winning the South Western Districts premier league for the second time.

Based in George, the Nelson Mandela University outfit defeated George Cricket Club by four wickets in the final earlier this month.

This came after the students eliminated defending champions Union Stars by 12 runs in a nail-biting, low-scoring playoff the previous day. After posting only 104, Madibaz restricted Union Stars to 92, thanks to brilliant spin bowling by Joshua Klue (4/9) and Joshua de Ponte (3/15).

It was the first time in a decade that Union Stars, who played in 10 consecutive finals of which they won nine, did not reach the final.

George campus sport manager Hugo Loubser said they were elated with the outcome as it was something they had targeted from the start of the season.

“We previously won the league in 2013-14 and we said to ourselves from the outset that if can get to the final this time, we are capable of matching any of the teams in the league,” he said.

“There are a number of students from schools in the Southern Cape who have decided to study at the George campus as they believe the university can provide the stage for them to perform.

“We are delivering on this and trust that more cricketers will buy into the Madibaz George cricket culture.”

At last year’s University Sport South Africa Week, the Madibaz team, comprising largely of players from the George campus, showed their ability by winning the B section of the tournament.

Loubser said a key driving force in their approach was that “nobody is bigger than the team”.

“The fear of failure does not exist among the players as they know that you will lose some matches. But the key is to turn up for the matches that matter.

“The players also understand their roles and know that responsibility is not something you pass on to the next person.”

He added that the premier league triumph was strong evidence of how cricket had progressed at the George campus.

“In 2007, we played in a ‘merchant’ league, which comprised six matches the entire season,” said Loubser.

“In 2013 we were promoted to the premier league, having won the promotion league.

“We won the premier league in our first season and have remained competitive ever since. Our second team plays in the reserve league.”

Adding to their establishment as a leading club has been the development of its facilities.

“We had the square rebuilt in 2013 and have since added sight screens, redeveloped the artificial nets and built a stand for players,” said Loubser.

“The cricket facility is now often used by SWD Cricket Board as a preferred venue for their SWD Cricket Academy programme.

The George students will now, together with the winners of Western Province and Boland, play in a series of matches from March 29 to 31 to determine the Western Cape representatives for the national club championship in Pretoria from April 13 to 17.

Loubser said there was a positive attitude in the camp ahead of the playoffs.

“This season we often had to face off against more experienced teams with more star players than us,” he said. “So we are looking forward to that challenge.”


Cricket has a lot of interesting terms and sayings uniquely associated with this almost five centuries old sport. Below are some of the most common (and strange) words and phrases you may hear when watching cricket.  

All out – When ten of the eleven batsmen are out. The last batsman cannot play without a partner.  

All-rounder – Most often a player who is proficient in both batting and bowling, sometimes a player who is decent as a batter or wicketkeeper or rarely a player who can bowl and keep wicket. This is a valuable player to have on the team.  

Appeal – When a batsman or his team disagree with an “out” decision that the umpire made and they ask for this decision to be re-evaluated.  

Bad light – Umpires can make the decision to suspend play if they deem the dim light a safety hazard for the batsman.  

Ball tampering – An illegal act in which a player (usually a bowler) makes unsanctioned alterations to the seam or the surface of the ball to make it more likely to perform in the way they want. 

Batting order – The order in which the team bats, starting with the first and second batsmen who are usually the best batsmen in the team. As one batsman is bowled or caught out, then next batsman in the order goes to bat. 

A four – Four runs are scored when the ball hits the ground first then rolls until it hits the boundary surrounding the field. 

A six – Six runs are scored when the ball is hit directly to the boundary and does not make contact with the ground. 

A maiden over – To bowl an over when the opposing team does not score any runs from the balls bowled.  

Caught out – When the ball is caught before touching the ground then the batsman is “caught out”, meaning he is finished batting. 

Century / HundredWhen one batsman scores one hundred runs in an innings.  

Half century / FiftyWhen one batsman scores fifty runs in an innings.  

Declaration – When the captain of the batting team decides to stop his team’s batting before all the batsmen have batted. This is usually part of a strategy. 

Dismiss – When a batsman is out.  

Duck – When a batsman scores no run before being out. 

Golden Duck When a batsman is out on the first ball he faces. 

Hat trick – When a bowler takes three wickets from three consecutive bowls 

Howzat? – A disgruntle appeal to the umpire.  

Innings – The period at which a batsman is batting before he is out.  

Over – Six consecutive balls bowled. Bowlers bowl an over then the bowler changes.   

Run – What points are called 

Wicket The three vertical stumps (sticks) with two horizontal bails (pegs) behind a batsman.   

Madibaz will stay grounded, says Prinsloo

The FNB Madibaz rugby team are riding the crest of a wave in the FNB Varsity Shield this season, but star loose forward Bevan Prinsloo says they will stay humble and remain focused on their goals.

Prinsloo was named the Player that Rocks after scoring four tries in the Nelson Mandela University side’s 41-12 win over the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Maritzburg last Monday, their fourth straight win in the competition.

The team have a bye this week but will be well placed to secure their spot in the top four play-offs when they resume their campaign against the Tshwane University of Technology in Port Elizabeth next Monday.

A first-year sports management student, the 19-year-old Prinsloo said they were pleased with their results but would not get carried away with their success.

“We are staying humble and keeping our feet on the ground,” the eighth man said. “I think that’s how any team should be.

“The guys are pleased with the way we are playing and we want to build on that and try to go from strength to strength.”

The former Grey High captain, who grew up in PE but now lives in George, said their overall aim was to win the Varsity Shield with a view to returning to the Varsity Cup competition.

“Our aim for the rest of the season is to make sure we don’t slip up anywhere and stick to the processes that we know.”

Prinsloo said his success this season was underpinned by a desire to add value to his team.

“My goals are very simple and that is just to go out there and try my best, never give up and always be there for my teammates.

“I try to do that by carrying the ball up hard to make metres and build momentum for the team.”

He added that he was on a learning curve at Madibaz rugby and enjoying the freedom that came within the team’s play structures.

“The environment is very welcoming and enjoyable and the coaches are very good. They know how to handle players and it creates a great environment for your development as a player.”

While his career is at an early stage, Prinsloo says he wants to do everything he can to reach a high level.

“I obviously like to carry the ball but I want to develop into an all-round player who can make an impact for his team and set an example to others.”


Record number attend Madibaz Netball tournament

The annual SPAR Madibaz Netball tournament held at the South Campus in Port Elizabeth over the weekend showed the event has continued to grow in popularity with a record 80 teams attending this year.

The two-day tournament at Nelson Mandela University accommodates women’s and men’s teams, providing a perfect chance for players in the Eastern Cape to gauge their strength at this early stage of the season.

Madibaz Sports Netball Manager Melinda Goosen said the opportunity for some teams to play indoors and the activities created around the event had contributed to its increasing popularity.

“Word of mouth of each year’s success makes new teams want to join and experience our Madibaz magic,” she said.

“This year we drew 800 players to the tournament, playing in various sections, and this created a wonderful vibe around the whole occasion.”

She added that the growth of the event was an indication of the hunger in the Eastern Cape community for the sport.

“Firstly, it gives coaches the opportunity to test their teams’ abilities as they prepare for upcoming leagues.

“Secondly, those attending especially schools players, get an idea of what it is to be part of the Madibaz netball set-up, providing them with an incentive to join us when they leave school.”

Goosen said it was a chance to demonstrate the talent available in the Eastern Cape.

“It is great to see them come out to play the game that we love.

“With the support of our loyal sponsors in SPAR Eastern Cape, we are able to put an event together where there is great exposure for a wide range of players and two fun-filled days for the whole family.

“Our product sponsors for the event, Twizza and Noorsveld Chickens, ensured that the thirsts got quenched and the tummies were full.”

The tournament underlined the strength of netball at Madibaz, with their teams winning most of the sections.

The only sections university teams did not win were the B and men’s divisions, in which they did not field teams. They were won by Devitels (men) and Phoenix (B section).

Goosen said their success was an indication of the high level of netball at the varsity.

“Madibaz netball is in a great space at the moment, having had a magic season in 2018, which provided a solid base for 2019.

“We have lost some senior players due to them graduating, but we have enormous talent coming through in the first-year students.

“In addition, we have great coaches and structures in place to support these players to take them to the next level.

“We are proud that the players are from the Eastern Cape because it is very important to us as a university in the region to retain our emerging talent.”

Madibaz aim to keep up high standards

The FNB Madibaz rugby team are determined to maintain as a high a standard as possible as they seek to make an impact in the FNB Varsity Shield competition this season.

In a tough clash in East London on Thursday, the Nelson Mandela University side registered their second successive win when they defeated Walter Sisulu 32-3.

They will now regroup for the final match of three during an intense opening week in the competition when they play Rhodes at the Madibaz Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Monday (6.30pm).

Madibaz skipper Riaan Esterhuizen said they had achieved their goal after also collecting the full five points against the Cape Peninsula University of Technology on Monday.

“We knew it would be a scrappy type of game and we prepared ourselves for that during training,” he said.

“We are just glad to come away with five points from the match.”

He added that they were focused on maintaining their standards after being relegated from the Varsity Cup last year.

“We have spoken about making sure we do not drop our standards at all,” said Esterhuizen.

“We want to play to get back into the Varsity Cup, and even though it will take us two years to achieve (as per the Varsity Cup promotion/relegation criteria) we need to find a consistent style of play as some of us may be leaving this year.

“We just want to keep playing well because the ultimate aim is to get back into the Varsity Cup.”

Madibaz produced the Player that Rocks in fullback Simon Bolze, who went over for two tries as the PE team took control in the second half.

After trailing 3-0 for most of the first half, Madibaz led 12-3 at the break and then stepped up the pace in the last 20 minutes, crossing for four more tries.

“We knew it was going to be tough because Walter Sisulu is a quality side,” said Bolze.

“It wasn’t that easy playing into the wind in the first half, but in the second half we opened it up and are proud of our efforts in the end.”

Another Madibaz player, wing Josiah Twum-Boafo, took the Steers Kinging Moment award, also crossing for two tries. He said the result was a reward for the efforts they had put in during the build-up to the competition.

“It was a very tough game and it’s good to get the win under the belt,” he said.

“We have worked very hard for this and the preparation we did in our pre-season training programme is starting to pay off.

“Now we are looking forward to our next game [against Rhodes].”

FNB Madibaz show dominance

FNB Madibaz made a statement having been recently relegated to the Varsity Shield after an enthralling 38-21 win in the opening game.

The Nelson Mandela University team’s opening game was against the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, kicking-off an intense spell to the competition with three matches in the space of eight days.

It was a slow start to the game, with neither side making any threatening moves. Great fun from the home team captain, Riaan Esterhuizen, broke the line to set-up Josiah Twum-Boafo for the ice-breaking try. FNB CPUT put up their first points through Ameer Hendricks just before half-time.

FNB Madibaz showed no signs of reducing their lead instead FNB Player that Rocks, Thembekile Bolitina, thwarted the visitor’s dreams by crossing the line. With several minutes remaining the great run of champagne rugby from the home side continued and a scintillating individual run from Christopher Hollis rubberstamped the team’s credentials

After Monday’s fixture, Madibaz take on Walter Sisulu University in East London on Thursday, followed by a clash with Grahamstown rivals Rhodes in PE on February 25.

With their preparations have gone well and Buys can be proud of his team’s performance after creating a winning culture in the squad.

Challenged to Prove Our Worth

As a team that competed in the Varsity Cup semi-finals not so long ago, the Nelson Mandela University (Madibaz) Rugby Team was shocked to find itself relegated from the Varsity Cup last year. The team will now spend the next two seasons in the Varsity Shield log, in hopes of being the team that will be promoted to the Cup log.

Being in the Shield log means that “we are not where we want to be and where we should be as this great University Team. It means we have to perform at our utmost best to get back into the Cup as soon as possible, to give the youngsters of the Eastern Cape a platform to play their rugby post-high school,” explained Athi Mayinje, a player from the Madibaz Rugby Team. “We will have to take it game by game and trust the process, as each game will serve as a challenge,” he added.

The team is in a rebuilding phase as it has lost a significant number of experienced and senior players. “Two of our players are playing Pro, and 14 others are unqualified for one reason or another. So expect a young and hungry side to make right the wrongs of the past,” said Athi. “The players have put in many hours of training throughout December and January. The hard work has been laid, but now we have to deliver on the field.” We can be sure to anticipate exhilarating games from the young players who are willing to prove their worth and be witnesses of their determination to carry the team back into the Cup log.

Supporters are urged to come out in numbers in the spirit of oneness, to be patient and to build with the team. The Madibaz team will kick off the Varsity Shield log against the FNB CPUT team on 18 February 2019 at the Madibaz Stadium, with their following game being at the BCM Stadium against the FNB WSU team on 21 February 2019.

Nortje’s varsity career key to his development

Former Madibaz cricketer Anrich Nortje, who is fast emerging as one of South Africa’s brightest bowling prospects, says a broader approach to life has helped him hugely during his cricket career.

The 25-year-old paceman has been forced to undergo a number of rehabilitation periods, but the hard work he has put in and the support he has received from a number of role players at Nelson Mandela University have seen him reap rich rewards.

This has come in the form of a contract with Kolkata Knight Riders to play in the Indian Premier League later this year, a much sought-after deal among modern-day cricketers.

Nortje has worked his way steadily through the ranks and caught the eye with a number of influential performances in the inaugural Mzansi Super League late last year.

An ankle injury derailed his participation in the Twenty20 competition, but his experiences at Mandela University where he had some injury problems have toughened him mentally for these sorts of challenges.

“I learnt quite a bit from my varsity days,” said Nortje. “Among them was being patient while playing and also being patient when injured.

“I learnt to work hard towards certain goals during my time with Madibaz.”

He said gaining a degree – he has a B.Comm in financial planning and a postgraduate diploma – was essential to his long-term development as a cricketer.

“When I first went to varsity I just wanted to play cricket,” said Nortje, who was schooled at Handhaaf Primary and Daniel Pienaar in Uitenhage.

“But after the first injury I started shifting my mindset to focus on my studies. I believe that is something that every cricketer needs.

“You can’t focus only on sport and hope it works out. Even if you have a decent career there is still an after-sport career that you’ll need to pursue and to have something to fall back on is very important.”

He said having his academic career to focus on when he was injured helped him get through the frustrations of rehabilitation.

“I put all my focus on my studies and almost tried not to think about the rehab too much. I still did what needed to be done, but it wasn’t my main focus. That helped me get through two long-term injuries.”

He recalls his playing days at Madibaz with fondness, saying he always looked forward to the chance to work on certain skills with the university coaches.

“Our main focus was to improve and to try certain things in a game that we had been practising. Especially when we were on top of another team we tried to execute some of our skills as bowlers even if it wasn’t necessary, just to see where you were.”

Nortje, who lives in Humewood in Port Elizabeth, said he had always worked on his fitness, even at a school level, where he was guided by biokineticist Runeshan Moodley, who was then at Muir College and later worked at Madibaz Sport.

“When I got to varsity Francois Holder was the trainer who really pushed us and it was something all of us needed.

“He was very understanding as well and knew how to handle us – when we had to take breaks and when we had to push on.

“As youngsters, you just want to push on every day and he helped with finding the right balance between the cricket and feet-up time.

“Baakier Abrahams was our coach at the time and he also played a big role in pushing all of the players to go to the next level.

“It was great to have someone who wanted the players to play at senior provincial level and franchise level. It made life easier to have your coach fighting the fight with you!”

After breaking a collarbone playing rugby in Grade 11, Nortje felt it was time to focus on cricket.

“When I started playing provincial cricket at U15 and U18 level I knew it was the sport I had to work hard on. After breaking my collarbone in rugby, all the focus was on cricket.”

About to embark on his latest adventure, Nortje is champing at the bit for the league which starts on March 23.

“IPL is definitely one of my dreams come true,” he said. “I really can’t wait to get out onto the field to represent the Kolkata Knight Riders.

“It’s a great opportunity to showcase your skills and to show the world what you can do. I still remember playing indoor cricket and watching IPL on the big screen and now I really can’t wait for my chance.”

He said his recovery from the ankle injury was going well and he hoped to make a comeback at the start of February for the Warriors, when the national one-day competition gets under way.


Madibaz Sports Function to Honour Top Achievers


Madibaz Sport will take the opportunity to honour a wide range of achievers when they hold a gala function at the Madibaz Indoor Sports Centre on Friday.

For the first time in several years this will be a sports-only function to recognise those who have made a contribution in their specific fields at Nelson Mandela University.

The sports stars were previously honoured at the Achievers Awards function, where the university recognised excellence across all student activities.

Madibaz director of sport Yoliswa Lumka said standalone sports awards evenings had been held previously, before they were amalgamated with the Achievers Awards function.

She added that by holding a separate sports evening it provided greater scope for them to honour those who had excelled during the year.

“Madibaz Sport has representation on all campuses of the university and represents 21 recognised codes,” she said.

“We annually sit with a long list of sports achievers but could not honour them in the appropriate manner due to the consolidated Achievers Awards function.

“By having our own function there is the opportunity to recognise our sports people as well as a chance for the university to see the depth of the work done annually on the sports fields.”

She said they felt it was critically important for Madibaz Sport to host a function such as this to ensure those who contributed so much were adequately recognised.

“The awards will cover a wide range of categories which will include individual achievements, success on a technical or coaching front, and contributions to outreach programmes,” said Lumka.

Madibaz Sport will also use the occasion to honour former president Nelson Mandela by inviting his grandson, Chief Mandla Mandela, to be the guest speaker.

“The reason for this is particularly for him to speak about our theme of ‘His Story, Our Story’, which highlights the importance of the late president and his 100 years, as well as to continue [telling] the story of Nelson Mandela to the next generation of Mandela University students.

“We will be launching our 10 sports ambassadors in celebration of the centenary of Mandela’s birth, with the theme in mind of taking over the baton for the next generation.”

The ambassadors will be revealed at the sports awards function.

Picture: Brittany Blaauw