Uniting a Nation
With a career spanning nine years, Jacques retired after the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The former flanker is a farmer in the south of Namibia, with plans to do charitable work using the sport he is so passionate about.
What is your biggest success up until now?
My biggest success is obviously playing for my country. I played in three World Cups for my country. I captained my country to two of them and every time, I stood there in front of the whole nation and sang my anthem, was extremely proud moments for me. I love Namibia and I’m born Namibian, I was raised Namibian. I’m a true Namibian and love everything about the country, so to represent the country and to captain my rugby team was a massive honour.
Jacques, do you mind sharing one of your favourite moments on your journey with MultiChoice?
I think it’s great when you sit back and you can watch your own matches and see what you do and listen to the commentary. MultiChoice and the service they’ve given us has been immense. I can’t think of a world without them now. Without you guys, we’d be pretty lost, the sports specifically. I love sport and every time I sit there and I think what would I have done without my MultiChoice and my service. So sitting back and watching yourself, going through and analyzing your matches throughout the week. We are very grateful.
Now that you are retired what are you busy with?
Quite a lot at the moment actually. I didn’t have a degree after school or didn’t study. I didn’t have any work experience, so when you career is done, it’s quite a nervous time. However, about six years ago, I decided to buy a farm down in the South of Namibia. I’m officially a farmer. Not something that I know a lot about but I’m learning on the job. We are building a home at the moment. After being in the UK for seven years, I’m just trying to adapt to normal life.
Has your association with MultiChoice allowed you to make a difference in your community and if you’ve made any difference, what difference have you made?
Throughout the World Cup, SuperSport united the whole country. Every time a Namibian team or a Namibian personality does something great and people see it on TV, people feel really proud. We are a small nation as you know and every bit of recognition we get, we really, really appreciate. Every time we see a Namibian do well, it unites us as a nation and that’s something that MultiChoice has succeeded in.
How has MultiChoice helped you tell your story, share your passions and pursue your dreams?
My passion is rugby and it’s something that I’ve loved from a very young age. To be out there playing rugby and having that broadcasted live to the nation is something that I’m extremely proud of. It’s something that you can’t take away from anybody. To play the sport you love, in front of millions of people and having it broadcasted to people in their homes is an unbelievable achievement.
What was the worst phase in your life?
I’ve had quite a few bad stages throughout my life. I struggled with depression as a youngster and it was something that I really had to battle hard to overcome. It’s something that made me stronger. Throughout my rugby career, I had a lot of injuries. I had seven knee surgeries and three shoulder surgeries. I had two cheek bone reconstructions and the list goes on.
I was very lucky that I had great people around me. Sport was a massive thing in my life. Rugby was my way out. It was my way of expressing myself. It is my way of blowing off steam. It gave me direction. I was pretty off the road before I started playing rugby but it gave me direction. I wanted to go somewhere. It was something I was good at and something I was passionate about. I’ve got a very loving family, some great people around me who picked me up whenever I was down and who supported me throughout the bad times.
What’s next for Jacques Burger?
Next for Jacques Burger, I would love to get involved in rugby again. I would love to do some charitable work in Namibia. Go out in the townships in Windhoek, in the North of Namibia, down South, to the less fortunate areas. I would like to use rugby as a tool, to teach kids the values of the sport. I’d like to teach them the game, the basic stuff, how it works but, I think the values of rugby. The sport is incredible and it can really unite people. We come from very diverse, different backgrounds but, if we can have that one big thing in common and see the values of what rugby is, then you can really unite people. I also want to start my own rugby clinic. Where I can get kids, the youngsters with talent in the country, give them the opportunity. Develop their skills to such a stage where they can compete in the world because there is nobody doing it at the moment and hopefully we can make a difference.
Listen to Jacques’ journey and experience with Multichoice here: