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Stronger together…

Anastacia Mbonambi, a qualified cancer therapist, mom, and wife to Springbok hero Bongi Mbonambi, shares her experience of the Rugby World Cup.

Last year, our nation was well and truly swept up in World Cup fever, and when the Springboks won the final by just one point, the players became instant heroes. Bongi Mbonambi is one of our country’s much-loved Boks, and a familiar face on the North Coast. Anastacia and her four-year-old daughter travelled to France to support Bongi and the team for the entirety of the Rugby World Cup, and she says the experience was amazing.
“Watching the rugby was so exciting but also stressful!” she laughs. “From the quarter-finals, we could start seeing and hearing the South African fans, which was great.” Anastacia says she is so happy she could be there for her husband, and he loved having her and their daughter along for the trip.

Between matches, Anastacia spent her time exploring and says their family trip to Disneyland in Paris was a highlight. The last time she travelled with Bongi for rugby was the World Cup in 2019, when she went to Japan for a few weeks with her then four-month-old. This time, with an older child, the experience was quite different. “Our daughter loved watching the rugby even more than me,” she laughs. “She would cry if her daddy wasn’t playing!”

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Being back home in Ballito after all the excitement is a welcome relief for Anastacia and Bongi. But getting out and about brings with it some new challenges. “Everyone stops Bongi wherever we go. We are usually a very under-the-radar family!”
Born in Johannesburg, Anastacia moved to Cape Town when she was in high school. She then studied radiography and specialised in cancer therapy, after which she worked as a cancer therapist for eight years at Groote Schuur Hospital. She says her work as a cancer therapist was intense, but she loved her patients. “It was amazing to see how they dealt with life’s challenges,” she says. “They were always so positive.”

Anastacia met Bongi at church in Cape Town when he was playing for the Stormers. “When I met him, I didn’t know who he was. I just enjoyed talking to him.” The couple were married in 2017 and moved to the North Coast for Bongi’s work two years ago. “I’m a Cape Town girl, so it was a big move for me,” she admits. “The first year was a bit tough but as I met people and made friends, it got easier and now it feels like home. The people are lovely and we’ve made friends very quickly.”

Bongi’s job is physically demanding and he travels a lot, so when he’s at home, Anastacia says they like to relax and do as little as possible. They also love going to the beach, eating out and spending time with their little girl. Becoming a mom was a big change for Anastacia, but she says she has loved the last few years. “We have a special bond. She’s a real mommy’s girl!” The couple love to spend time in the kitchen, and enjoy cooking for each other. Some of their favourite dishes include curry, stews, pasta and a good braai.
Now that things have settled down after the Springboks’ win, Anastacia’s hope is that we can hold on to the positivity the World Cup brought to our country. “I hope we can keep the spirit of togetherness going. We shouldn’t have to wait another four years for that.”

Text: Jennifer Campbell
Photographs: Chris Allan Photo
Makeup: Kylie P Makeup
Outfits: BySi
Location: Dragonfly Room, Simbithi

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