Many children at Midrand High School fondly referred to him as ‘coach’. Kwazi Shangase joined the school in 2014 as a physical education teacher and sports administrator. He recently relocated to his province of birth, KwaZulu-Natal. The 31-year-old grew up in Durban with his parents and three siblings.
In 2007, he moved to Johannesburg where he studied and graduated with his BA Theology degree in 2009. He completed his honour’s degree in 2010 and began his service in ministry at AFM Impact Christian Church in Midrand.
He was ordained as pastor of the AFM Church in June 2011. “I initiated multiple projects in the Midrand community like the Midrand Youth Leaders Forum, high schools’ Christian fellowship programme and youth inter-denominational conferences, seminars and collaborations.”
He took a sabbatical year in 2014 and resigned from the AFM Church in 2015 and became a part-time rugby coach at Midrand High School.
Shangase said he started with a team of eight boys in his first training session with no financial support from the school. “In fact the school’s then vice principal challenged me and said it cannot be done.
“He said Midrand High School could never play rugby because the sport was not in their blood. That was the challenge I needed.”
In 2015 he was offered a permanent position at the school. Fast forward to last year, Shangase had established three full teams ranging from U14 to U19 which were affiliated, competing and sponsored.
Adding to that, the school currently offers rugby for girls. “In 2018 we accomplished every goal we had set our hearts on.
We set our minds to developing teams, getting sponsored kits, having the best performing teams, getting sponsorship for our facilities, playing at provincial and national level and having a consolidated budget for the sports department at the school.”
The sports fanatic said he was happy that each of his goals and more was achieved in the four years at the school. “I wanted to leave the school better than what I found it and I believe I have.”
He said the children and staff members at the school were good to him. “Mrs van Zyl was my principal, she saw potential in me and allowed me to dream for the school.
“I will miss my rugby boys. Those boys are my children. They know that. They are the reason I stayed at the school and built the rugby legacy. I have had more than 200 boys that passed through my hands in the last four years and each one of them is special to me.”
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