Madibaz footballer of the year Cloudius Sagandira is a rising sports star who has proved that it is possible to strike a balance between sporting and academic achievement.
The 24-year-old striker, who is heading into the final year of his masters degree in chemistry, dreams of both a professional football career and completing his doctoral studies.
“From the age of seven I’ve had a passion for football and academics,” said Sagandira. “I was equally talented in both and couldn’t separate the two.”
The Zimbabwe-born forward was an integral part of the Madibaz’s successes this season, which included winning the Safa Nelson Mandela Bay regional league promotion championships and defending their Port Elizabeth Football Association league title.
His standout performances in these and the Varsity Football competition have already drawn the attention of several professional clubs.
But Sagandira, who completed his BSc honours degree with distinction last year, is determined to remain focused on his academic studies and have the best of both worlds.
“The sky is not the limit; with great will, someone can go beyond it,” he said.
“No one should limit him or herself. Never settle for anything, knowing that there is always something better ahead.”
An example to aspiring young talent, Sagandira said his greatest role model was his father, who taught him to believe in himself and inspired him to achieve both on and off the playing field.
“He is the one I look up to, as he believes in giving the best in everything you do.”
He said a sense of responsibility, good time management skills and a strong personal faith were key factors in his success.
Despite his achievements thus far, Sagandira remains humble and grateful for the opportunities he has had.
“Words cannot express how much this institution has changed and shaped my life. Going to study there was probably the best decision I have ever made. I am who I am because of NMMU.”
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