WATCH | A ‘warrior’ on the field, a ‘flower’ off the field: Lindani Myeni remembered by former captain

26 May 2021 - 06:00
By Emile Bosch

Clear morning light spills onto the deep frown Thokozani “Twin” Mdluli wears while he sits on the spectator stands nestled between Empangeni Rhinos Rugby club’s field-side trees. 

Now a coach for the club, Mdluli can count his fair share of blood, sweat and tears from battles past during his time on the club’s senior side. 

Many of those years where spent on the field with Lindani Myeni, who was killed by police officers in Honolulu, Hawaii on April 14.

“On the field of play Lindani was a warrior. You could trust him. If he saw that you were down he’d come to you and pick you up and say, ‘Let’s go, let’s play’. He was a warrior,” Mdluli says. 

Mdluli recounts truly “getting to know” Lindani in the locker room, and later the two maintained a close friendship.

“Off the field a total, total gentleman. He smiled all the time, he was so happy all the time. Approachable. Anybody, regardless of how old you were, who you were, he did not judge. Normally rugby players are tough, strong. Lindani was not like that, Lindani was a total flower off the field,” Mdluli says.

He says he had dinner with Lindani before he left to America, and his mood and temperament were a mixture of excitement and nervousness. 

“I was excited to see him playing there but I was more excited for them to experience Lindani,” the rugby coach says. 

When news of Lindani’s killing broke, it left Twin and the Empangani community at large  shocked and confused. 

For the full four-part feature, click here.