Book Review – Being A Black Springbok


Being A Black Springbok by Sibusiso Mjikeliso (Pan Macmillan SA) ISBN: 978-1-77010-544-7

This is Thando Manana’s story. He was the third black Springbok player when he made his debut in 2000. He tells his story to Sibusiso Mjikeliso, editor of Kick Off magazine.

Manana felt that this was necessary because of the lack of stories about black sports people. This story goes beyond the rugby field. It is about the hardships of a young aspiring sportsman who tries to achieve his dreams.

It is obvious from the beginning that Manana is searching for a father figure, which sometimes leads to situations that could have meant the end of his sporting dreams. When he is taken in by an affectionate man, Melvin Li Choo, who treats him like his own son, Manana settles down.

Despite the many books about rugby, this book is recommended. From humble beginnings to achieving at the highest sports level, the story will give everybody insight into Manana’s interesting journey. In Manana’s words, “Sometimes the thing that pushes you to go further is the very thing you lack or the person that has deserted you.”

Ulrike Hill
3/5