Bavuma is a township boy who has become national heroThomas Kwenaite
By Mandla Dladla and Andile Dladla
To be appointed captain of your country is the greatest honour that could be bestowed on you as an individual and Temba Bavuma does not take lightly the responsibility he carries on his huge shoulders.
The South African cricketer is currently captain of the South African national team in One Day International and Twenty20 International cricket. He was the first black African cricketer to make a Test century for South Africa and the first to captain the side.
In a recent interview, the SA wicket keeper who grew up in Langa, the same township where Thami Tsolekile and Malusi Siboto were also raised, he admitted to be enjoying the responsibilities that goes with being leader of the pack.
“Personally I’ve been doing good and things have been a little bit hectic which is something that’s good because sitting at home not knowing when our next cricket game would be played hadn’t been fun,” said the 31-year old St David Marist student.
But more than anything, he confessed to be enjoying the captaincy even though it has it’s challenges and responsibilities.
“We are a team in transition and being trusted to guide that process has been great and the little bit of success we had has been fun.
“When we got wind of the fact that we would be playing against the West Indies, it was both a relief and a breath of fresh air for me and the guys.
“It was very challenging for us as a team knowing that we are going up against a good team that has home ground advantage and is well established in T20 cricket.
“Traveling to Ireland was also not easy, playing against a formidable Irish team and two months away from home operating within the bio secure bubbles had its own mental challenges.
But we’ve had deep conversations as a team and understand the reasoning behind it (Being isolated and in quarantine due to Covid-19) as to protect human life and the importance of it.
“We are also given the opportunity to play some games where you have your FIFA guys who play quite a lot and there is a shooting game that is famous amongst us.”
Bavuma also revealed that to get to the top and stay at that level on a consistent basis required hard work, determination and a lot of sacrifices, which is something aspiring cricketers should take heed of.
“Every sportsman wants to challenge themselves against the best in the world because it gives you a sense of confidence if you are successful against those top guys. We have a lot of pride in what we do, that’s why we sacrifice a lot so that when things go your way it brings a lot of satisfaction.”
He also revealed that being cooped up with team-mates brings its own challenges and sometimes you could engage in little disagreements. But those are challenges that build your character and they should not distract you from the bigger picture and your primary duties as compatriots and your objectives as South Africans.
When not on cricket duty, Bavuma gets heavily involved in the “Temba Bavuma Foundation” which has grown over the past five years since inception.
“We have been very busy especially during Covid-19 times. We have to be aware of what is happening within our communities and see how we can alleviate the plight and the lives of the people around us that have been impacted by the pandemic.”
Initially the foundation was set up with the primary objective of developing exceptionally talented young cricketers and to expose them to bigger scheme of things where education is a key component of the Foundation.