05 April 2021 | Story Dr Nitha Ramnath | Photo Supplied
Jamba Isaac Ulengo.

Jamba Isaac Ulengo, our guest in the third episode of the Voices of the Free State podcast series is a South African rugby union player who proudly joined his team in bringing home a gold medal at the 2013 World Games. 

François van Schalkwyk and Keenan Carelse, UFS alumni leading the university’s United Kingdom Alumni Chapter, have put their voices together to produce and direct the podcast series.  Intended to reconnect alumni with the university and their university experience, the podcasts will be featured on the first Monday of every month, ending in November 2021.  Our featured alumni share and reflect on their experiences at the UFS, how it has shaped their lives, and relate why their ongoing association with the UFS is still relevant and important. The podcasts are authentic conversations – they provide an opportunity for the university to understand and learn about the experiences of its alumni and to celebrate the diversity and touchpoints that unite them. 

Our podcast guest

Born in the North West town of Vryburg, Ulengo first played provincial rugby at the U16 Grant Khomo Week in 2005. While attending Jim Fouché High School in Bloemfontein, Ulengo was chosen to represent the Free State at various youth levels. As an up-and-coming player, Ulengo made his break via the FNB Varsity Cup Competition where he starred for the Shimlas, scoring 11 tries in 18 appearances over the three seasons between 2010 and 2012. A short stint with the Free State Vodacom Cup side saw him make his debut for the Blitzboks (Glasgow 2012), followed by a tournament at the London Sevens in 2014. Ulengo has been a prominent member of the South African Sevens since making his debut for the team in the Scotland leg of the 2011-2012 IRB Sevens World Series. He played in the two final tournaments of that season and then signed a two-year contract with the South African Rugby Union to represent the team in the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 series. While he only competed at four events in his first full season, he was involved in seven of the tournaments in his second season. 

Ulengo made his return to the sport by signing a contract to play Currie Cup rugby for the Pretoria-based Blue Bulls in 2014 and for their Super Rugby franchise, the Bulls, from the 2015 Super Rugby season. 

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