Akani Simbine - The Lion Like lamb

On the track the characteristics of a lion comes out, but off the track, the characteristics of a lamb takes charge. 

The tension was high and everyone expected to see the first sub 10 second 100m by a South Africa or at least the national record being broken. The guys approached the start of the 100m line, Simon’s usual roar and the crowed being silenced…but the quiet figure of Akani was probably forgotten. Forgotten before, but not after the race… Simbine was chased down by Simon to 95m and was dipped into second position; a second position and a personal best of 10.02 seconds. Ladies and gentleman, meet Mr Simbine.

The future looked good for this high school scholar who played in the Senior Castle Soccer League at such a young age. The head of sport at his high school approach him and encouraged him to try out athletics after which he immediately introduced him to one of the coaches in the Germiston area, which unfortunately did not work out.

It wasn’t until the next year January when his dad showed him an ad in a local newspaper about a coach availing his services to young and willing athletes. They contacted him immediately and one could say ‘the rest is history’, but man, what a journey. Hold on tighter.

Having grown up in a Christian family that supports him in every decision he makes, made everything easier and encouraged him to even work harder. ‘I work and train harder to run faster in races’ said Simbine who delivered a great performance at the 2014 CWG in Glasgow. He mentioned the above simply because he could see the level of competition and the need for South African sprinters to get to ‘the next level’.

The 2014 CWG selection didn’t come easy for this young man who has been struggling with hamstring tears and niggles since 2012. What amazes me is the fact that he experienced the very same niggles and injuries just last year, but still managed to catch up with Usain Bolt in THAT 4x100m final and in the same year, also dominated the local Varsity Athletics and national. Athletes who are struggling with injuries, there you have it…you will come back stronger and faster, just keep on working!

He is a man of little words, but a man who knows what he wants and when he wants it. ‘I set goals and work very hard to achieve that goals, that’s all there is to it, working hard’ said the 21 year old Tuks sprint sensation. ‘I see myself as one of the fastest men in the world in the coming five years’ added the champion with a confidence that every athlete needs. He went from being a possible soccer star, to being one of the best sprinters in the world in a matter of 4-5 years; just imagine what can happen in the next 4-5 years (no really, do the calculations and you will be astonished at the possibilities). ‘Work hard on your goals and you will achieve them’ mentioned Simbine to all the youngsters and future stars in our country.

This young man was seen running by a sport fanatic who simply saw raw talent and he went on to connect him with a coach and look at him now, he’s traveled the world and he has a profile that can open doors he never thought could be opened. He has developed into what can be known as the epitome of an athlete or sport star; humble yet aggressive.

I am pretty sure that Akani with the likes of Ncincilili Titi, Anaso Jobodwana, Henricho Bruintjies, Kyle Appel, Thando Roto and lot’s of up and coming guys are hungry, hard at training and they will achieve great things with the right support in place; come on, let’s support them! .

See the passion, experience the passion and live the passion.
Akani sir, we are looking forward to more magic on the local and international circuit. Soar on wings like eagles.

Photo by Lee Warren – Gallo Images

EC Media Coordinator : Reggie Hufkie