University of Johannesburg rugby prop Stephen Bhasera has been nominated for the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards in the Sports Personality of the Year category for 2019.
This is an initiative that honours Zimbabweans who reside outside of their home country and are doing commendable things in a variety of fields.
It covers categories from business to community work to academia, sports, culture and media.
The 23-year-old Bhasera, who will graduate from UJ with a law degree (LLB) in April, said he was privileged to be considered for the award.
Having initially received offers to attend various top law schools around the world, the young rugby star chose to pursue his career in UJ.
“I took that route because I wanted to exhaust my desire to play professional rugby,” he said.
“Having the Lions [rugby franchise] on board in terms of a contractual commitment was the main motivation for deciding to take the SA route.”
After being part of the Young Guns set-up at UJ, he graduated to the Varsity Cup squad this year before an injury ended his future in the competition.
“Despite that my Varsity Cup experience has been largely positive – it’s a unique initiative that combines the benefits of top-level rugby with the perks of studying at an institution of higher education.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve found the transition into Varsity Cup difficult or the games to be more physical than what I’ve experienced before. However, it is still an extremely high level of rugby.”
For now, though, his sporting career will be on the backburner as he turns his attention to a Masters in Law degree (LLM), starting in the UK in September.