From Middledrift To Megastar: Springbok Women’s Captain Nolusindiso Booi Shares Her Story

Nolusindiso Booi image via Springbok Women

Talk about an inspiring story! Nolusindiso Booi, who also goes by Cindy, is the captain of the Springbok Women’s rugby team. She is a powerhouse of a woman, coming from a small Eastern Cape village, moving her way up through the ranks in school and university, to take on the acclaimed role of leader.

In this interview, we get to know Cindy in more of a personal capacity and learn about her rise to fame. For all our sportswomen readers out there, let’s get inspired!

Who is Nolusindiso Booi and how/why did you get into rugby? 

My name is Nolusindiso Booi, also known as Cindy. I grew up in Middledrift/eXesi in a small village trust no.3. I stayed with my grandparents while my mom was still at school. I was just normal like any other kid and very active playing cricket with my brother and other kids from my village. Cricket was the only sport in my village and still is. I was good in that too and everyone thought I would go far with it. I was also good in athletics in primary and high school and playing netball.

I met rugby at the University of Fort Hare, and it was not something I thought I will play, but in 2007 Lisa Tsepe was impressed with my body and structure and asked me to join them. I was not interested cause I had never thought of that at all, but that’s where everything started.

You are now the captain of the Springbok’s rugby team, which is a huge accomplishment. To what do you attribute your success?

To be a captain is not a very easy job, it takes the support of the whole team management in order for me to function. It is very hard to let your team sink because of the wonderful ladies that I’m working with. We have worked hard together and they also look up to me. Always have a desire to improve because I believe if you want to be successful you need to go the extra mile. What you have is never enough, hard work always gives direction. 

Coming from a small village, how has your background shaped who you are?

I grew up like any child in the village and my parents did their best to make sure I’m not in a disadvantageous position even though I was not getting everything I wanted at the time.

I would say the way I grew up helped me to be a better person, and to know that I won’t get everything at once. I have to wait and what I have I need to share it. The love and support from my mom and my dad were really amazing. My mom will walk kilometres to wait for the car I’m in to give me the money to pay. My dad was also making lots of sacrifices for me, buying me boots when I’m in need and taking me to train when he was available. He also watched some of the games if he had time.

I do appreciate them a lot and all I do now it’s for them.

What has been your favourite achievement thus far in your career?

Being on that field is one of my achievements, as well as wearing that green and gold jersey, scoring the winning try against Norman’s in Cape Town, player of the year, and playing in two World Cups.

Leading the team and being in the World Cup squad is one of the things I will never take for granted. 

What advice do you have for aspiring female rugby players?

In any sport the will be up and downs, and disappointments, but you as a player just need to give your best all the time and be focused on one thing that you want. You have to remember everyone is fighting for that position or jersey, so you need to be focused and do hard work all the time without forgetting about discipline and having fun.

Hard work always has a way of paying off….. add that 1% effort all the time.

Getting to know Cindy: 

  • If I could go back in time and tell myself one thing before starting my career, it would be… believe in yourself and know you can do anything, I’m strong and talented.
  • If I had to choose one person, alive or dead, as my inspiration, it would be… My dad.
  • My daily mantra is… I’m enough.

Thank you, Cindy! Go follow her journey below, and to watch any upcoming games, go check out the fixtures here!

For more inspiring interviews, check out our blog.

Images via Springboks and Instagram

HEYBOO, Hey Boo, HeyBoo, however you may write it yourself, is a blog centred around inspiring women, inspiring women. Our goal is to celebrate women in all walks of life and in any industry who are making noise and doing the most. Interviews with women about their experiences in business, or other sectors aim to inspire and educate our readers. Whether you want to learn more about how to break into an industry, or just get uplifted by some truly inspiring stories, we’ve got the read for you! While we are focused on spreading the news about awesome women, we branch into brand reviews, and other fun and interesting blog categories to feed your curious soul.