The Sunday Mail
France-based Sables and Cheetahs back liner Shayne Makombe is doing it all for his mother.
Memories of how his mother, Charity, shed tears and begged him to walk away from rugby spurs Makombe on.
“I was 13 then and was in hospital after suffering a nasty neck injury. My mum looked at me as I lay there motionlessly and begged me to stop playing rugby and concentrate on my studies,” recalls Makombe.
“I always wanted to pursue rugby as a profession, but my grades in school were also decent hence my mother emphasised the importance of education ahead of sport.
“However, it all changed when she realised that my passion and dedication to the sport had reached a point of no return.
There was nothing she could do other than to support me.”
A good 14 years after the hospital tears, both mother and son are all smiles with Makombe excelling both on the rugby and academic fronts.
The 27-year-old holds a Bachelor of Social Science degree in Psychology and Business, and recently renewed his contract with Rugby Club Compeiegnois.
He kicked off the 2018-19 season in style, coming off the bench to score two tries in last weekend’s opening fixture against Domont.
Makombe has featured in more than 30 games for the Paris side since he joined the third tier club last year from University of Kwazulu Natal Rugby Club.
“Everything is different here and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience, adapting was hard, but just like anything you get the hang of it. I dream of playing in a fully professional outfit at a higher level as I’m playing at a semi-professional level at the moment,” he says.
While the French third tier is not the most glamourous of leagues, it still affords Makombe a chance to take care of his mother.
“Playing and living in France has been nothing but a blessing. As a single parent my mother worked hard her whole life to raise me and get me to the best schools . . . Rugby has helped me to return that favour and take care of her.”
Makombe has a burning ambition.
“Before I retire I would love to be part of the group that takes the Zimbabwe Sables back to the World Cup,” he says.
“In the past the Sevens set up was more professional and as a player I opted for the Cheetahs but things are changing.
The XV’s side is shaping up and I look forward to more caps in the Sables jersey.”