Multitalented Hacjivah Dayimani has only just scraped the surface of his potential and would be a superb signing for the Stormers, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
When it comes to certain players, it’s occasionally difficult to maintain neutrality and avoid becoming inclined towards a slight bias when predicting big things are still to come.
For me, Dayimani is just one of those players.
Humble, hard-working, immensely talented, and with an inspiring outlook on life, the 23-year-old is an individual who it’s just impossible not to root for.
Still recovering from a knee injury suffered last November, Dayimani has been conspicuous by his absence on the rugby radar over the past six months, and yet that’s not to say he isn’t in high demand.
There is some interest from overseas, but this website also understands that he is a sought-after recruit in Cape Town, where the Stormers believe he could fit seamlessly into their set-up.
Siya Kolisi has recently headed to the Sharks. Juarno Augustus is soon off to England, and there’s been enough speculation about Pieter-Steph du Toit’s prospective move to Japan to suggest where there is smoke, there must be fire.
Yet, as the Stormers have reassessed their squad, they’ve identified dynamic Dayimani as a raw and rare talent who could add mobility and pure athleticism to their back-row stocks.
Described by many as a ‘freakish athlete’, Dayimani’s progress has been hampered by injury and some differing opinions over whether he would be best deployed in the back row or, in fact, somewhere in the backline.
As a player who has featured on the sevens scene and who can run a sub-11sec over 100m, he is able to offer a massive threat in the wider channels due to his explosive speed that complements his natural strength and size (Dayimani weighs in around 100kg and stands 1.88m tall).
It would be a shrewd move if the Stormers were able to swoop and snap up a pure athlete in the form of Dayimani, particularly as they continue their to build a squad that aims to boast a few more X-factor threats among the forwards to go with the familiar reliance on a rock-solid scrum.
To know Dayimani’s story also provides powerful insight into the character of the man, and how much it means to him to have become a professional rugby player. It’s a career that was beyond his wildest dreams during a humble, hand-to-mouth upbringing.
Just recently, this powerful feature was published in a recent issue of SA Rugby magazine, where Dayimani documented his remarkable journey with searing honesty. It’s a must-read.
‘To be seen, I need to play,’ he stated at the end of that interview. ‘I see inspiration all around me. From my family. Even my friends, who showed me I can’t be like a gangster. That could never be my life. I never once thought of giving up. I always felt I was destined.’
In the context of where Dayimani has come from, it’s understandable that the youngster feels he’s already achieved his dreams.
But at the age of 23, he surely is ‘destined’ for more.