BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
FRANCE-BASED Zimbabwe international rugby player Shayne has named brand ambassador of Honda France, in recognition for his standout performances for his club RCC Rugby Club Compiegnois as he continues his steady rise at the third tier side based in northern France.
Makombe, who is in his third season at the Fédérale 2 side, has established himself as one of RCC Rugby Club Compiegnois’ top players not only due to his match winning performances but also his exemplary conduct on and off the field of play.
The 27-year-old was recently presented with a brand new 2018 Honda HRV after being named among a select group of who make up the Honda Team VIP, one of the automotive brand’s marketing strategies targeting top athletes and celebrities.
Makombe, a versatile backliner who can play outside centre or on the wing said he was delighted with the recognition adding that it will motivate him to continue working hard in pursuit of his goals.
“I’m really humbled by the recognition from Honda France; I now very motivated to keep working hard and believing in myself and God’s purpose for my rugby journey. I’ve come from far and gone through so much and God just keeps showing his hand and proving that as long as I put my faith and trust in him he always carry me through,” Makombe told The Sports Hub in an interview last week.
“I always celebrate what I call small victories because they always lead to the even bigger ones and just representing big brands is something I always wanted to do. My inspiration really was Brian Habana, he’s one guy I really looked up to when I was in school and he was quite big on the commercial side of things and I always said to myself if I can do thing one day it would be pretty amazing,” he said.
The partnership with Honda France comes on the back of Makombe’s sterling efforts in marketing the automotive brand which is one of the major sponsors of his club.
“I initially started and just from doing a lot of marketing stuff within the club, the marketing manager for Honda France Agathe Fourdrin started getting me involved with their Honda Team VIP which is basically a group of athletes and other people who are established in their different professions and they do marketing for Honda. We’ve done stadium events and so on and I have been involved in that group for almost two years now,” he said.
Makombe, who captained Churchill during his high school days, got his breakthrough in 2013 after earning a bursary at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where he represented them in the Varsity Shield before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
The Sables and Cheetahs star moved to France in 2017, where he has been establishing himself at RCC Rugby Club Compiegnois, who play two tiers below the Top 14, the top-flight of French rugby and one of the richest domestic competitions in the world.
After impressing in his first two seasons, Makombe extended his contract with the club by another year three months ago and despite recently suffering a shoulder injury he is happy with his stay in France.
“My stay here has been really amazing it’s been a wonderful experience. When I finished my degree in South Africa I wanted to have a different experience and this place has been amazing to me. The supporters are amazing and I can safely say the support at our home games is always the highlight for me I always look forward to our home games.”