Ysland, salm en rugby•Iceland, salmon and rugby

***English part at the bottom***

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“People are much deeper than stereotypes. That’s the first place our minds go. Then you get to know them and you hear their stories and you say: “I’d have never guessed.”” – Carson Kressley

Op daardie noot, wat is die reaksie onder die meeste mense as hulle hoor rugbyspeler?  Is dit BCom Honneurs student, plat op die Aarde mens, lief vir die winter en effens stil?  Nie so gedink nie.  Laat Meneer Jannes Kirsten net gou daardie stereotipe oor rugbyspelers vir jou en my kom uitstof.  Oor ‘n smullekker Cappuccino en Chai Latté in die hartjie van Pretoria, gesels hy so bietjie oor homself.

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Jannes as ‘n eerstejaar (peppie) word vasgevat deur HK-lid, Armand Basson. Jannes as a first year (peppie) gets spoken to by Committee member, Armand Basson.

Jannes Kirsten (22) draf tans met die Nommer 7 trui vir die Bulle uit.  Sy ouer broer, Frik het ook vroëer ‘n plekkie op die span gehad.  Snaaks genoeg, het hy op skool nooit Craven-week of enige ander nasionale rugby gespeel nie en hy het selfs in graad 11 sy toks vir die jaar opgehang. Na skool het hy by Loftus begin oefen en in sy tweede jaar het hy vir die Junior Springbokke gespeel (2013) – alhoewel swot nog altyd sy eerste prioriteit is en was.  Hy het in 2015 sy BCom (Beleggingsbestuur) graad gevang en selfs ná die Statistiek-oorwinning ingekom vir Honneurs waarmee hy nou besig is by Tuks.  Jannes is baie gemotiveerd om ‘n gebalanseerde leefstyl te handhaaf, en vir studentelewe het dit beteken het dat saam met al die ander dinge, ook die koshuislewe in Mopanie ervaar het vir drie jaar – wat volgens hom natuurlik die beste koshuis is. Terwyl die rugby onderwerp nog so in die lug gehang het; het ek toe probeer uitvis wat sy most embarrassing oomblik was … het hy dadelik laggend (en ‘n bietjie verdag) gevra: “Het jy die video gesien?”. Blykbaar, het hy eenkeer tydens ‘n lynstaan in ‘n wedstryd die bal heeltemal mis gevang, en die bal het hom direk in die gesig getref.

Oor Meneer Kirsten se rugby-loopbaan kan ons natuurlik enige plek oplees, so kom ons

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Ek en ‘n baie LANG Jannes. Me and a VERY tall Jannes.

delf bietjie dieper in wie presies hierdie (lewenslange) kêrel is én wat vir hom wag nadat hy die rugbytoks permanent ophang.

Jannes is ‘n goeie ou familie-mens, daarom sien hy homself ook na sy rugby-loopbaan as deel van die familie besigheid, saam met sy pa en broer, wat finansiële dienste lewer. Buiten vir die reeds bekende broer, het hy ook ‘n sussie wat in Dubai werk. Sy ouers speel ‘n groot rol in sy lewe en sy gunsteling eienskappe van hulle elkeen is die volgende:

  • Moederlief: Sy het ‘n opofferende persoonlikheid om seker te maak dat almal anders gelukkig is en versorg is voordat sy na haar eie behoeftes kyk. Sy stres blykbaar namens die res van die gesin.  (“My ma sal my piets as sy sien hoe ek nou eet, jis nou voel ek sleg,” het hy ewe tien keer onverskoning gevra toe die burger té lekker raak. So ek dink so tussen die lyne is die feit dat sy ma hom goeie maniere geleer het tog ook ‘n gunsteling.)
  • Vaderlief: Laat alles in die lewe altyd so maklik lyk, en hierdeur gee hy altyd leiding en het altyd die regte raad op die regte tyd.
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Frik (broer/brother), Marietjie (moederlief/mum), Barend (Vaderlief/Dad), Ili (sussie/sister) en/and Jannes. {Namibië(a) 2011}

Buiten nou vir hierdie twee steunpilare in sy lewe, is sy rolmodel die All Black Richie McCaw. Hoekom? Want hy is nederig en ‘n goeie leier. Hy sal ook nie omgee om soos hierdie wêreld-beroemde speler te kan rugby speel nie.

Sy gunsteling eienskap in mense oor die algemeen is hulle vermoë om te vergewe, ongeag hoeveel keer jy al droog gemaak het.

Jannes sien homself as baie kompeterend behalwe as dit by die akademie kom – akademie is ook die een plek waar Jannes al deur daardie “Is ek goed genoeg?”-kompleks moes wandel, waardeur ons almal onsself keer op keer moet kry. Alhoewel hy vlugtig ook daardeur moes gaan toe hy skielik begin rugby speel saam met mense wat sy kleintyd-helde was, sê hy dat dit tog makliker raak met tyd om hulle eerder as spanmaats te sien as baie intimiderend.

Soos die meeste mans, is hy nie die grootste aanhanger van winkelsentrums nie en sal hy veel eerder tuine verken en leer oor plante of net bloot in die natuur wees. As Jannes enige iets in die wêreld kon verander sou dit wees om rook weg te vat en op ‘n meer ernstige noot, materialisme.

Die top 3 dinge op Jannes se bucketlist is:

  1. Om Ysland toe te gaan … en dan op ‘n salm en water detox te gaan om al die stad se gifstowwe te verwyder en net normaal te kan asem haal.
  2. ‘n Kar te huur en sonder ‘n plan, deur al die state in Amerika te toer.
  3. Na versigtige oorweging of nommer 3 op die lysie moet wees om ‘n ratel te besit, of ruimte toe te gaan, het hy besluit op ‘n uitstappie ruimte toe.

Baie van ons het vir Jannes leer ken as ‘n nerd in die Beleggingsbestuur klas, ander ken hom as die rugby jock en sommiges sien hom net as ‘n all-round nice guy. Maar wat dink hy is die een ding van hom wat mense verbaas sal laat? Hy vrek oor musiek soos Lana del Rey s’n. Diep musiek, vroue stemme en gooi selfs ‘n bietjie gemoan oor haar kêrel of iets in die mengsel en hy is gelukkig.

Sy raad aan ander is: “Jy is net een keer jonk, doen alles ordentlik. Geniet dit! En leer hard vir Statistiek … die éérste keer”. Toe ek probeer uitvis wat hierdie suksesvolle mens motiveer, was ek laggend beantwoord met: “Jy vra moeilike vrae! Eintlik moet ek dankie sê dat jy hierdie gedagtes aktiveer.” En na ‘n paar stare in die verte en wonder was dit wat hom motiveer om hard te werk, die wil  om nie sy omstandighede ooit te blameer vir iets nie.  Hy verwys hier na hoe daar soms kinders uit presies dieselfde huisgesin kom, maar totaal anders uitdraai, en dis hier waar hy nie ooit ‘n slagoffer wil wees van omstandighede nie.

Hoe ek vir Jannes leer ken het, was as ‘n plat op die Aarde mens. Wat die onderwerp verander as dit oor sy prestasies gaan omdat hy nie mal is om oor homself te praat nie en nie daarvan hou as mense jou anders behandel nie.  Ek dink hy kan maar met ‘n geruste hart weet dat hy alreeds so nederig soos sy rolmodel is en ook goed genoeg op akademiese-veld is: Dit steek nie in almal om rugby te speel en honneurs aan te pak nie.  “Jy het nie geweet ek speel rugby nie en ek het nie geweet jy skryf nie, dis wat cool is in die wêreld, oral kruip iets nice weg om te leer as mense dit nie aldag loop en vertel nie,” is hoe Jannes die situasie opsom. Ek dink dit spreek boekdele oor sy karakter.

So wanneer hy nie besig is met chilli-eet kompetisies, aandele-waardasies, om ‘n jol te hê of rugby te speel nie, is Jannes beslis besig om mense te inspireer.

En, ja, die vraag op almal se – maar eintlik my – lippe, glo Jannes Kirsten in meerminne? Sy antwoord: “Sonder enige twyfel.”

***

“People are much deeper than stereotypes. That’s the first place our minds go. Then you get to know them and you hear their stories and you say: “I’d have never guessed.”” – Carson Kressley

On that note, what is the reaction from most people when you hear Afrikaans rugby player? Is it BCom Honours student, down to Earth, winter-lover and kind of a quiet guy? I didn’t think so. Let’s give Jannes Kirsten a chance to break that stereotype for you and me. Over the perfect Cappuccino and Chai Latté, in the heart of Pretoria, he tells a little about himself.

fb_img_1484508350033Jannes Kirsten (22) currently jogs out for the Bulls with the number 7 jersey, on the same team where his older brother had a place earlier. Funnily enough, he never played Craven-week or other national school rugby – he even took a break from playing in grade 11. After school, he started practising at Loftus and started playing for the Junior Springbok-team in his second year (2013) – even though studying remained priority. In 2015 he received his BCom (Investment Management) degree and on top of his rugby success, even came in for Honours – with which he is currently busy at the University of Pretoria. Jannes is very motivated to lead a balanced lifestyle, which then doesn’t surprise at all that on top of everything else he took on, he enjoyed residence life for three years as well. He resided in Mopanie, which according to him is the best residence. On the rugby topic, Jannes laughed when asked what his most embarrassing moment was and immediately asked: “Did you see the video?” sceptically. Apparently, in a game, during a line-out he missed the ball and it bumped right into his face.

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Jannes en/and Petrus Alberts. Koshuis Rugby Finaal 2012, Mopanie wen. Residence Rugby Finals 2012, Mopanie won.

Mr Kirsten’s rugby career can be researched all over the internet, so let’s dig a bit deeper into who this super tall guy is and what awaits him after this endeavour.

Jannes is a good old family guy, thus he also sees himself in the family business offering financial services, with his dad and brother. He also has a sister who currently resides in Dubai. Jannes’ parents play a big role in his life and his favourite characteristic of each of them is:

  • Mum: The way she sometimes sacrifices herself to make sure everyone in the family is cared for. (When the burger became a bit too enjoyable, Jannes apologised multiple times with: “My mom will smack me if she sees the way I am eating, Wow, I feel so bad now.” So even though it was not mentioned out loud, I think a favourite must also be how she taught him good manners.)
  • Dad: The way he lets everything seem so easy: Leadership or the right decision, which makes him the go-to person for any advice.
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Frik (broer/brother), Jannes, Marietjie (moederlief/mum), Barend (Vaderlief/Dad), en/and Ili (sussie/sister). {Namibië(a) 2011}

Except for these two pillars in his life, his role model is the one and only All Black Richie McCaw. Why? He is a good and humble leader. He obviously won’t mind to play like him either! All of his decisions and the role that family plays in his life, makes sense if you know that his favourite characteristic about the human race is their ability to forgive, again and again.

Jannes sees himself as someone very competitive, except when it comes to academics – which is the one field where he has fallen into that all too familiar “Am I good enough?”-trap. Even though he quickly had to go through the same feeling when he suddenly played rugby with his childhood heroes, but he reckons it gets easier and you eventually start to see them as team mates rather than just intimidating.

Like most men, Jannes is not a big fan of malls and he would rather find himself in a garden or nature in general, learning about plants. If Jannes could therefore change anything in this world, it would be to take away smoking and on a more serious note, materialism.

The top 3 things on Jannes’ bucket list are:

  1. To go to Iceland … and go on a salmon and water detox to get rid of all the city’s poisons and actually be able to breathe like a normal person.
  2. To hire a car and without a solid plan, to travel through all the USA states.
  3. After careful consideration between actually having a badger and going into space, space won the battle for third place. (Even though I think a badger as a pet seems pretty cool too.)

A lot of us got to know Jannes as a bit of a nerd in class, others know him as a jock and some might just see him as the all-round nice guy he is. But what does he think will surprise people about him? He loves music like Lana del Rey’s. Deep music with women’s voice and throw in a bit of whining about an ex or something and he is happy.

His advice to others: “You are young only once, do everything decently. Enjoy every moment. And study hard for Statistics … the first time.” When asked what motivates this already successful person he laughed and said: “You ask difficult questions, but I should thank you for activating these thoughts.” So after a bit of staring at nothing and wondering, he answered with what motivates him: To never become a victim of circumstances. He explained this with the example of children that sometimes come from the same home, but turns out entirely different and that he never wants to blame circumstances for anything because he knows it is mostly the way you play your cards and not the hand that you have been dealt with that defines you.

How I got to know Jannes, was as a really down to earth guy. As someone who changes the topic when it is about his accomplishments because he doesn’t like speaking about it or when people treat him differently. I think that he can rest assured that he is already much more like his role models than he cares to give himself credit for and he can forget about not being good-enough in the academics:  Not everyone is able to play rugby and do honours at the same time. “You didn’t know I play rugby and I didn’t know you write, that is what is cool about this world. There is always something cool to learn when people don’t walk around and tell you everything all the time,” is how he summed up the situation. I think that says a lot about his character.

So when Jannes isn’t busy with chilli-eating contests, derivatives, having a jol, or playing rugby, he is definitely inspiring people as far as he goes.

And yes, the question on everyone’s – but mostly my – lips, does Jannes Kirsten believe in mermaids? “Without a doubt.”

 

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