Tendai Mtawarira’s autobiography simply titled Beast was originally scheduled to be released prior to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
However, due to a leak about Mtawarira’s take on former Springboks coach Peter De Villiers, the publisher, through the possible pressure applied by SA Rugby decided to withhold releasing the book to shift the attention away from Mtawarira in the World Cup.
The book was finally released days after Beast, as Mtwarira is affectionally known, returned back with the Ellis Webb trophy from Japan, after the Springboks’ success in the world showpiece.
However, while the book was withheld, I thought the author Andy Capostagno was waiting for the outcome of the Boks performance in Japan so that he can add the Beast’s biggest achievement in his professional career, that is winning the World Cup.
However, I was so disappointed and I am pretty sure legions of Beast’s supporters will also share the same emotion about the absence of Beast’s biggest moment in his career in this book.
The book was, without doubt, rushed into been released in order to cash in on the Springboks success euphoria.
I believe Capostagno should have taken time after the Springboks success and fully recapture Beast’s success with the Springboks in the World Cup.
This book feels half-baked without Beast’s success in the World Cup.
Winning a World Cup is a huge milestone and it redefines the success of any professional rugby player and without this part in this book, I feel this autobiography failed to capture the full story of a man who defied the odds to become the most successful rugby player from Zimbabwe.
However, perusing through the pages of this book, readers will get to know more about Tendai, the go-getter, son, brother and husband than Beast who is known to lift the big players on the field.
In a typical modern-era autobiography writing style, Capostagno allowed Beast to tell his story in his own words, while his task was to get comments from the people who shaped and were part of Beast’s career.
Not giving away much, there are few controversial points Beast is raising in the book.
For example, his take on Jake White’s tenure at the Sharks and also Peter De Villiers’ management style during his time with the Springboks.
I believe this book will draw a different reception from many people.
For ordinary readers, Beast’s story will provide some inspiration, motivation and encouragement, given his tough journey from Zimbabwe to becoming one of the most revered sports personality in the world.
However, to his former colleagues in the Springboks and at the Sharks, some might be angry with him, given that his ‘dream team’ only include one player from the team that recently won the World Cup.
Since Beast has retired from international rugby, I hope that he will one day fully write his successful professional story, especially his World Cup success with the Springboks.