Hacjivah Dayimani describes herself as an outcast who has no place in society’s norms. Instead of falling victim to the constraints of the world as we know it, the star decided to forge her own path to stardom.
A young boy born in the Cape Town town of Joe Slovo has a very small chance of becoming a professional rugby player, and even less likely to play for the Stormers’ championship-winning first team.
Planet Rugby’s Dylan Coetzee teams up with Stormers superstar Dayimani to find out what drives one of rugby’s most intriguing characters.
The first years
Full of joy, smiles and love of life we see on and off the pitch, Dayimani is a little different from his younger self.
From the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape, the Stormers recalls growing times of change and uncertainty, from a trip to Johannesburg filled with the unknown.
It’s a heavy burden for a teenager trying to overcome the challenges of life in South Africa.
Dayimani became a “child soldier” who stripped away emotions to find ways to deal with the problems he faced in order to overcome obstacles. The situation where the welfare of the family came first was often beyond him.
“I guess I should have been like a child soldier and hide my feelings, hide how I felt and just continue enlisting,” Dayimani told Planet Rugby.
“I think I remember anything when you were growing up as a kid where you couldn’t listen to ‘I’m struggling with ABC at school,’ because there were problems at home or bigger problems at home. no food, we had a hard time paying the rent, and there were always bigger problems.”
Dayimani would work in his teenage years to contribute to his family in any way possible as he always focused on the collective.
“I have always worked. I was a maid for my family and I worked for my family. “I did construction work at a young age, sold oranges and naartji, and I didn’t see anything wrong with that because it was for the family,” Dayimani said.
leap of faith
The star’s positive and uplifting demeanor took its place when it came time to move to Johannesburg as a young boy from her grandmother in Cradock, Eastern Cape. He saw this as an opportunity to take the next step instead of being intimidated by the country’s largest city.
“When I leave my grandma’s house to go to Joburg, I think another kid will say, ‘No, I don’t want to leave,’ and she’ll be happy with the comfort at that age and stay with what she knows. I guess I was looking on the positive side.
“What if I got a job and my father became a multimillionaire?” I was thinking. And then my life turns upside down.
“I never had a backup plan when I went to Joburg. I was just going to call my dad,” he explained loosely forward.
The move paid off when Dayimani earned him a scholarship to Jeppe High and eventually a spot on the Lions setup.
He was playing well and was gaining attention for his extreme speed for a forward, but until he returned to Cape Town to play for the Stormers, he found a place where he could be himself and really break the mold on and off the court. .
On the pitch, you’d think it had to be a pivot or even a wing with its speed. Dayimani quickly gained attention and became an integral player in the Stormers’ championship victory at the United Rugby Championship (URC).
The 25-year-old has embraced the title of outcast and paved his own way. From painting her nails to posting photos of skirts on social media, Dayimani is here to change perception and make a real difference in rugby.
“I’ve always felt like, you know what? Why do I have to conform to the norm or how do things need to be done? I’m going to show people what my life is like and be different. I am not just one person rugby player. Actually, I’m something different,” Stormer cried passionately.
Dayimani has been making heated, sensational trials on the field and many more, and he wants to use his growing reputation in the game to make rugby a more progressive field.
“Nobody cares if my nails are painted. Nobody cares if my hair is blonde and nobody cares what kind of things I wear off the court. Everyone loves me for throwing trials. “That’s what I’m trying to show people that you hate a person for the way they look, but deep down you know you don’t feel that way about that person.”
The star credited Stormers head coach John Dobson for his understanding of the modern player who was tremendous in his on and off-court development.
“One thing I can count on John Dobson is he knows how to treat generation Z because he knows it’s a different way of coaching these new generations. “How you wanted to coach 20 years ago and how you coach now are two different things,” Dayimani continued.
“With him, I think he’s created a culture where it doesn’t matter what you do off the court. You know, it doesn’t matter how you act on your night out, as long as you respect the people around you and do your best on the court, that’s what counts.
“Storms have an inclusive culture where we have different people from different places. Players are welcome as soon as they walk in and everyone feels like there are no veteran or junior players. Everyone is on the same level because at the end of the day when someone breaks a line, it’s like, ‘Oh, you have 60 capital letters.’ We won’t be. You have to chase him.’ No, no, no, if the one with the two hats is the closest person he has to fight, ”she explained.
By giving players the power to respect the jersey and those on their teams, Stormers have developed a player-centric environment, a key aspect of their historic URC victories.
“At this point I feel something is cooking with Stormers. It’s player focused. That’s the thing with Stormers. It’s very player focused because at the end of the day we’re on the court, the players are on the court, you know, the coaches are just there to guide us and give us a good plan and good advice on how to do it.” We can infiltrate teams, but the players come up with ideas and they say, ‘Listen, based on what the coach said, I feel like we can implement it’ and we argue and that’s how we move forward.” Uncle said with a smile.
Following the URC victory, the star exploded on social media as she went in full gear to an epic celebration that lasted several days. But Dayimani claims it’s more than just a party for him.
“It’s pretty emotional coming out of a place where I don’t know the statistics, but it’s not easy for people to come out and get something out of it. When I go to visit, I look at people, even they don’t believe I’m from here. “It’s rare for people to achieve that,” he said.
“I went wherever I could think of bad memories and celebrated as hard as I could.”
change the world
When asked about his forward goals on and off the pitch, Dayimani replied profoundly, “I want to change the world.”
“I feel like I have a message to convey to people without offending them. When people talk about race, I always feel like it’s offensive to one side, and when people talk about toxic masculinity, it’s offensive to one side. I want to show people that it’s okay to do certain things, be a certain person and be part of this group. “Obviously I do it through sports, but off the court, the way you dress, the way you act, the things you do, and I just wanted to push boundaries.”
Dayimani is deep, inspiring and pioneering. His philosophy of life is very strong and has brought him great success. As he contemplates the Springbok jersey in his future, the rugby world begins to see a star who lives life harder and plays even harder.
Remember the name Hacjivah Dayimani.
READ MORE: Champions Cup: Stormers boss John Dobson fed up with halftime performance against Clermont
Crossing borders with Hacjivah Dayimani, the kind of article that the rugby star sorely needs, was first published on Planetrugby.com.