Former Jeppe High School for Boys learner and Golden Lions No 8 Hacjivah Dayimani is no longer the diamond in the rough as his talent is shining for all to see.
The talent of Dayimani, which means “diamond”, was evident at the Currie Cup match between Blue Bulls and Golden Lions at the Loftus Versveld stadium on September 1 when he helped his team bag a win. The Cape Town-born Dayimani is living his dream of playing professional rugby.
The EXPRESS had the opportunity to catch up with Dayimani and chat about playing for the Golden Lions, school and what’s next in his rugby journey.
He did not expect that two years after matriculating from Jeppe he would run out for the Lions.
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“To be honest, I wasn’t expecting everything to happen so quickly. I’m grateful for where I am,” said Dayimani.
“I’m happy about our victory and I am grateful to get the opportunity to play,” he said when talking about the nail-biter match against the Bulls.
Lions won 38-35.
“If it wasn’t for the team passing me the ball I would not have scored any of those tries,” said Dayimani.
The 20-year-old Dayimani remains humble, even with the spotlight on him.
He was named Man of Match and said it was a team effort.
“It’s always good winning an award, but for me to receive the award was the result of team effort.
“Fourteen of my teammates also gave their all and put their bodies on the line for us to win as a team,” said Dayimani.
In an interview in 2016 with the EXPRESS, Dayimani shared his dream of playing professional rugby.
We asked him how it feels to have achieved that dream in just two years.
“Today I feel like it is a dream come true to be able to do something I love. I’m very passionate about rugby because of what it means to me. It took me away from a lot of negative things,” said Dayimani.
He said he is grateful for the people who played a role in his high school life and encouraged him to play.
“Two coaches played an important role and had an impact in my rugby career during my schooling years.
“Mr Axsel convinced me to continue playing rugby and always tried to convince my dad to allow me to play on Saturdays.
“In high school, Mr Hammond was the man who believed in me when no one did. I was having a terrible season and he gave me an opportunity to play with the first team when I was in Grade Eight because he saw something in me,” shared Dayimani.
He said his most memorable moment so far has been making his starting debut against the Crusaders in Super Rugby.
The Jeppe boy is living up to his name, which is a combination of the Hebrew word “Akiva” (to protect) and the Xhosa word “Mpumulelo” (achiever) which created Hacjivah which sounds like “achiever”.
He is carrying the pride of his name into a clothing brand line called Over Achiever.
He also started a water brand called Water in Box which is bio-degradable.
“Never sell yourself short, no matter the circumstance. If you are meant to rise you will always rise, just don’t give up.
“I’m taking everything one step at a time. I just want to improve and be the best I can be, and learn from everyone around me,” said Dayimani.
He is also studying part-time towards a BA general degree at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits).