While other kids battled it up in the field at the just-ended Cottco Schools Rugby Festival that was held at Prince Edward School in Harare, Choga was running up and down in the field blowing the whistle in matches that featured players of his age.
Born on September 29 1996 in Harare’s Marlborough suburb, the Prince Edward School Form Four student has been in the thick of the things for two years now.
“I started refereeing at the age of 14 at the 12th edition of the Cottco Schools Rugby Festival in 2011. We were given matches to handle, while a senior referee would be watching closely from the sidelines. I had a good outing such that I was elevated to handle schools rugby league matches,” Choga said.
But how did Choga decide to pursue a unique career like rugby refereeing while in school?
“I grew up admiring Collina as I have already said, but during the 2010 Cottco Schools Rugby Festival, I was impressed by the performance of a referee who handled the last match of that competition. I approached him after the match and asked him what was required for me to join the world of rugby refereeing.
“He was useful indeed as he told me to get guidance from the referees’ stand. I did exactly what he had told me. I started attending their referees lessons and meetings. The rest is history,” Choga said.
Choga blows in International Sevens scene
Choga vividly recalls the day he ran touches for the first time in an international event.
“The best game of my life so far came last year when I was running touches during an International Sevens tour that was held here at Prince Edward. There were a number of touring Under -19 teams and I was one of the officials running touches in two matches.”
The pencil-slim referee handled three matches at this year’s event.
“I was fortunate enough as I managed to pass the Level One Referees Course two weeks ago and this time around I am doing it without any assistance like what we used to when we started.”
While other kids are thinking of taking up other white collar jobs, Choga has vowed to pursue his refereeing career.
“I am now looking forward to making use of the referees coaching course that is currently underway here courtesy of the sponsors, Cottco and pursue my refereeing career. I have told myself that I am going to be a professional rugby referee full- time.
“I have just discovered that this has been keeping me occupied a lot from all other mischievous activities that kids can do. It has been a blessing for me.”
Choga is a third born child in a family of four kids, but none of his siblings is into rugby.