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WATCH: Which Sbu Nkosi will feature for Bulls ... Springboks flyer or rapper ‘Lawd Odin’?

Sbu Nkosi has launched his music career on social media. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Sbu Nkosi has launched his music career on social media. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Published May 6, 2022

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Durban - Is Sbu Nkosi a rapper or a rugby player or will he be both when he joins the Bulls from the Sharks next month?

That is the only certainty around the Springbok World Cup winner right now — he has been released by the Sharks to join the Bulls and in the interim, he has released a rap song called “Off the Clock”.

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Nkosi, who goes under the stage name of “Lawd Odin” in the rap video he released on Thursday on Instagram, joined the Sharks in 2017 and played 64 games for them but this year he has largely been missing in action.

He has been variously sick and injured and has barely played, but while laid up in his sickbed he clearly has been writing music, and rather enjoying it if the slick production of “Off the Clock” is anything to go by.

The 26-year-old wing has played 18 Tests for the Springboks and was a member of the World Cup-winning team in Japan. The question now is, are the Bulls going to get a player focused on rugby or music?

In a sense, though, Nkosi is going home. He grew up in Barberton, the town founded in the gold rush of the 1880s and which has given its name to the famous daisies. The Barberton daisy is, of course, the flower on the Bulls' jersey.

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Nkosi was mostly raised by his mother after his father died when he was 12. His mother is a high-ranking official in the Department of Road Safety and Transport.

He told me in an interview three years ago that he considers himself an all-round proud South African because he was born and grew up in Mpumalanga; went to high school at Jeppe in Johannesburg and played two years of Craven Week for the Lions; was inspired to be a rugby wing by two stars of the Eastern Cape; supported the Bulls growing up and had moved to the Sharks.

He said he had no international rugby heroes growing up — only locals.

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“I focus on the South Africans when I watch rugby on TV. (Former Sharks wings) Odwa Ndungane and Lwazi Mvovo are the reason I am playing rugby. I did not look past them when I was at primary school and we gathered in the school hall to watch Super Rugby matches.”

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Nkosi said he was never tempted to be a soccer player and rugby was an immediate love.

“I do recall, though, being terrified the first time I played,” he said. “I was six and this Afrikaans guy called CJ van der Walt enticed me to come and play mini rugby. I scored a try with my first touch of the ball. I ran as fast as I could because I was afraid of being tackled! I was hooked on rugby, and the dream of being a professional rugby player soon followed and before long I was idolising Odwa and later Lwazi.”

His nickname at Jeppe was “Lomu” because of his ability to burst through tackles and while the real Lomu is a tough act to follow, Nkosi certainly knows his way to the try line and has scored nine tries in his 16 Tests for the Boks.

He has been on the winning side in 11 of those Tests and he played on the right wing in the Boks’ stunning victory over the All Blacks last year on the Gold Coast.

But he did not go on the Boks’ end-of-year tour last year and in 2022 has been as elusive at the Scarlet Pimpernel.

It would seem that his career is at a crossroads but if anyone can ensure he keeps his eye on the rugby ball it will be Jake White.

IOL Sport

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