“I thought about one of my favorite Sufi poems, which says that God long ago drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now. I was never not coming here. This was never not going to happen.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
It is exactly two days before 16 July 2016 with the drizzle a reflection of Gods sweat as he tries to fix the world and the cold weather a reflection of the status quo and the world we live in. Tomorrow the weather Gods have predicted a sunlight representing the light at the end of the tunnel. We take great great honour, pride and gratitude to present the interview with Fhatuwani ‘Rasta’ Rasivhenge someone who is a ground breaker and explorer and leading SA Rugby into unchanted territories of having native referees taking centre stage at the biggest events.
Rasta is an extroverted young lad that originated from a small town in Johannesburg but now residing in Cape Town after a year and a half in Australia. He is probably better known in recent years for my exploits on the Sevens circuit but I’m also on the SA Rugby Elite Panel and the Vodacom Super Rugby panel. His parents were instrumental in instilling values and disciplines in him to be a hard worker, to sacrifice himself for others, and to cherish every moment he has every day. He was moulded to strive for excellence and to never give up on anything.
Having been well groomed by loving parents and relocated to Cape Town, we asked him about that one moment can he can pin point as being the highlight of your career?
Wow, I would probably say refereeing the Currie Cup Final last year, making my Vodacom Super Rugby debut and refereeing the Sevens World Cup Final. I really can’t choose one – all of them are too special.
Tell us about your Australian experience and why Australia? How on earth did you end up appearing as an Australian ref in the 7s World Series? Are you aware of the Australian accent that you’ve developed?
I moved to Australia for approximately a year and ended up representing Australia as a referee as I was residing there, and in that time I really learned a lot and grew as a referee. I have a lot of friends and family from there but I wasn’t aware of the accent – I will keep on reminding myself to speak more like a South African…hehehehe.
What role has your upbringing played in moulding you as a well-groomed role model?
It has paid a major role in me upholding values of morals, respect, integrity and making sure that I leave a legacy for the next generation to follow and be better leaders of what we do. We are only care takers of what we do for the next generation.
It has taken you three quarters of a decade to work your way up to where you are now? Is the process for referring generally a long one or were there other factors at play?
That is a good question, I can only say it’s up to the individual to work hard and take the opportunities presented. Sometimes luck is in your favour – one must just be ready for the opportunity when it presents itself. So yes, it took me some time to get where I am, but I’m still not where I want to be and are working hard to get there.
You have recently been added to the referee rugby roster for the current season of the rugby championship, how is the experience thus far?
Being part of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship panel is a dream I’m working hard to achieve and hopefully one day I will make it to that level.
Can we expect to see you referring at a World Cup final one day?
It’s a massive dream of mine, yes. I have done a Sevens World Cup final and my long term goal is to one day referee a World Cup Final.
Did you play rugby at high school? How would you rate Jeppe in terms of its rugby? Is it a match to any of its counterparts like Pretoria Boys High and others?
Yes I played a bit of rugby while growing up. Jeppe is a very good school at rugby and I would rate them in the top 10 in the country as they play an exciting brand of rugby.
On his slogan in life Rasta blessed us with some inspirational words.
Dream it, see it, do it, live it!
As a rugby 7s specialist tell us about some of the adventures you’ve been on having travelled the world.
Hehehehe, I have had so many experiences, travelled the world, met so many people and made heaps of friends, every trip offers different opportunities so it’s just been one hell of a great time on the circuit in terms of those aspects.
There are plenty of black children and aspiring sports women and men out there, what is the one advice and or message you would like to send to them.
Well I encourage everyone regardless of their race to work hard, to aspire for big things in life, to have dreams, live by the values they are taught at home, adhere to respect, love and passion for life, sport and whatever they want to venture into. Education is essential in growth and advancement. Sacrifice always pays off and the greatest feeling in the world is happiness.
What does your future hold for you?
My future is bright as I have a lot of ambitions and goals to achieve. In sport I want to reach the pinnacle of refereeing, first step is Olympics now then Vodacom Super Rugby and hopefully Test rugby some time.
You recently moved from Johannesburg to Cape Town, why the move?
I love Cape Town! Many of my friends live here and I wanted a change in lifestyle, so it’s great here and spending time growing is great. Lots of rugby and other opportunities here too.
Is there a ritual you follow before games? How do you prepare yourself for big games?
Hehehehe, another good question! I always put my left sock on first and make sure that I listen to my favourite song to relax me.
Being on the road so much do you get time to spend with your family?
It’s tough and I am trying to balance everything, getting there slowly but I am looking forward to a break soon where I can visit my mum, dad, brothers and sisters up in Venda, help with harvesting the crops and chase the chickens around the plot.
We once again would like to take this opportunity to thank Rasta for taking the time out to speak to us.