Zim mourns SA's hulk Njisane

HARARE - The National Federation of Zimbabwe Bodybuilding and Fitness (NFZBBF) has joined the rest of the world in mourning the late South African bodybuilder Vusumzi “Bulldozer” Njisane who passed away recently,  ironically on his birthday.

Njisane (32) was a friend of the local federation who participated in the inaugural All-Africa Olympia hosted here in 2012 and two years ago he was in the country together with the International Federation of Bodybuilding (IBFF) president also from South Africa Arnie Williams for the Zimbabwe IBFF contest where he was a guest.

At the Zimbabwe All-Africa Olympia, the Bulldozer won the heavyweight category and was also the runner-up in the Open main contest behind legendary South African muscleman Shameen Adams who was crowned the overall champion.

NFZBBF secretary-general Quiet Shangai said the world has lost a great athlete.

“...He is arguably one of the finest bodybuilders to emerge from Africa. He was a man of the people; he toured Zimbabwe and Zambia just to promote Eugene Sandow’s sport. We lost a great person,” Shangai told the Daily News.

Among some of his achievements was winning the IFBB SA Nationals in 2011 having finished third in the 2014 Mr Olympia Amateur heavyweight division and the non- federated All Africa Amateur Olympia in 2012. In 2015 Njisane narrowly lost to Cobus Van der Mewer at the IFBB Africa Amateur Olympia.

The larger than life athlete who was down to earth and very humble for a man of his frame told this reporter during one his visits here that he was just a young athlete trying to inspire like-minded bodybuilders to pursue a professional career in bodybuilding.

“I am just a young athlete with a vision to inspire others who came from a poor background like me. Every chance to compete is a privilege and every win is a blessing. It was great to be acknowledged at the first inter-African Olympia as winner of my division,” he said.

“I was amazed — one of the best events of my life. I found it challenging, because in preparing for the contest, I pushed myself very hard knowing that the best from all over Africa were coming to the show looking their best.

“It was interesting because it is the first time I have competed against so many athletes from the African continent, all hungry to make it.

“At the IFBB Worlds in 2011 and the Arnold’s Classic last year, there were a few Africans competing. For the first time, here I was in Africa, in an inter-African show.”

Local bodybuilder Irvine Dekeya shared his tribute on Facebook.

“We all have a Vusi story ... I remember when he splashed on (to) the scene out of nowhere as a freaky heavyweight with symmetry and that year he destroyed the provincials and won the SA title against the legendary John Leslie. From there onwards which ever bodybuilder to succeed would be measured against this man.

“When he came to Zim for the All-Africa Olympia he dropped jaws everywhere because never have people seen a guy with so much muscle and so put together like that it’s crazy.

“I don't know about other bodybuilders but we all have that one pic of the ultimate bodybuilder we admire and to me Vusi was one of them. You certainly made your mark on my life and a lot of people Vusumzi Njisane . Farewell “the Bulldozer”, Dekeya wrote.

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