In light of Women’s Month we decided to ask Tshepi, a woman that currently inspires us a few questions and here is what she had to say:
How did you start playing rugby?
I started playing Rugby in high school. I attended high school at a boarding Hoerskool in the free state and that is where I got introduced to the sport. After matriculating, I played club rugby in Johannesburg. After improving my on field skills and experience, I played for provincial teams in Gauteng. In 2018 I stopped playing provincial rugby and became a rugby referee. 2020, I made the SA Rugby Women’s Referee Academy squad.
What are some of the challenges you have faced as a woman in sports & how did you deal with them?
There are many hurdles that I have had to overcome as a female in a male dominated sport. Some of the challenges I have faced such as training with the men when we didn’t have enough women to make up a team. We have also had to put in a lot of work and dedication to putting together a women’s club league in Johannesburg. Forming a structure for the Women in Rugby has been a challenging one as there are limited resources and directed to Women’s sports.
Seeing that you have lots of side hustles, what are they & how do you manage all of them?
I am an octopus aren’t I ? I am an ambassador for Hatfield VW Melrose ,I organize small corporate events as well, I am one of the 2020 faces of Colgate with my daughter, I am a rugby referee , I run my own Charity Initiatives as well. I allocate my weekends and afterhours to brands and companies that I work with. I make good use of my time. It’s critical for me to wake up early every day otherwise there will not be enough time to get everything done. I also have a great support structure , so there are some things that I am able to delegate to those close to me to take care of whilst I handle other things on my plate.
When & and how did you start your charity work?
I started charity work years ago, can’t put my finger on a year. I started by helping out with initiatives by other organizations and sporting codes . I eventually started my own initiative late 2019 ,not as anything official but by making small differences in my community. 2020 got off to a great start as I started to identify areas and groups that I can be able to assist with the aid of friends ,donations and sponsorships. Having a great relationship with my clients helps me make a big difference with many lives from soup kitchens to girl drives that serve a minimum of 500 people per drive. I’m very passionate about my initiatives and I give 100% every single time.
What is your current biggest achievement with regards to your charity work?
My biggest achievement ….I cant choose one , so it will have to be Cooking and feeding over 6000 people for Mandela week in Soweto ,That was amazing. The second one has to be the Lily Drive for Girls, My girls mean a lot to me and we were able to raise and collect 500 care packs with toiletries for the girls.
What is the one lesson within your career that you have learned & would like to share?
I have learned so many valuable lessons in my Rugby Career and journey . One of the most valuable lessons that I apply in other areas of my life is : Do not feed your history at the expense of your destiny. It’s important for Women to know the value and worth they bring to the table. It is critical not to dwell on past mistakes and history . Learn your lessons, and move on otherwise you will never know what you are ought to become if you keep knocking yourself down based on life’s hurdles that are in the past.