The Muz that is Tendai
More past articles on Tendai Mzungu.
Tendai Mzungu, almost unrecognisable in 2009 since losing his beloved dreadlocks, has continued to rack up possessions at will while setting up play for the Demons off half back. A definite fan favourite, ‘Muz’ has continued on his fine form from the latter half of 2008 and is an important cog in the Demons machine which is hoping to string some wins together in the second half of the season to make a charge for the Top Four.
Take Five caught up with Tendai over a few glasses of red at the local Vic Park Lawn Bowls club.
Tendai, you’ve certainly found your niche running off half back and setting up many of Perth’s driving attacks over the last two or so years. Are you at a stage now where you are comfortable with your style of play and role in the side?
Was definitely a new experience being thrown down there mid way through last year, but I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of the backline. As a defender my main role is to defend but I’ve been encouraged to run and create when we gain possession, which I think has helped a lot with my progression at league level.
Early on I must admit I did have my doubts on whether I made the right decision. I missed Trinity/Aquinas and was a bit unsure whether I belonged at this level. I’m rapt that I stayed and am looking forward to playing in some finals in the near future with my best mates.
The secret is out that you are in a competition with Kade Lang regarding your skinfolds
(For those playing at home, skinfolds are a measurement of body fat taken at 8 sites all over the body and are a favourite of Matty Barber when it comes to testing time). How is this tracking and can you tell us who is currently winning with the lowest skinfolds?
Yeh we’ve had a battle going on since early in the year. Unfortunately the footy trip to Thailand took its toll on my waistline and Langy pounced by challenging me to a “fat off”. He probably took the honours early but since the New Year I’ve reeled him
in before speeding past him. The 2 steak and mushroom pies along with his calorie loaded apple danish directly after recovery probably isn’t helping his cause, but he’s adamant the mushroom in the pie counts towards his 2 fruit and 5 vegies quota per day.
In the summer months, you are a budding cricketer and have recently unveiled yourself as being quite handy when playing Lawn Bowls. Are you content playing Aussie Rules with the Perth Demons or does the lure of being the next cricket superstar to come out of Kent Street still tempt you occasionally?
My cricket is certainly going nowhere fast, although the odd fizzing leg break still troubles even the best top order batsmen, and I don’t mind throwing down a few bowls down at the Vic Park bowls club every now and then. A few of the golden oldies down there took me under their wing and promised me some good match payments if I committed for the year but I think I’ll stick with the Demons for a little while longer.
Jars has a number of nicknames for you, such as ‘Toondas’ or ‘Moondas’. It seems that the name Mzungu is quite hard to pronounce. Can you enlighten us as to the background to one of the most indifferent surnames in the league?
Mzungu is a bit of a tricky one. I tend to struggle with the pronunciation from time to time myself, so I’m not too critical of those who also find it hard. The name stems from Eastern Africa and although most people find it hard to believe it actually means “white person”… Yet another thing I’m trying to get my head around.
You recently participated in the Greatest Shave and managed to raise some money for this great cause earlier in the year. Unfortunately it cost you your beloved dreadlocks. How long had you been growing these infamous locks for and was it a little embarrassing copping comparisons to Tiger Woods and Lewis Hamilton after this from all the boys?
I did cop it from every man and his dog for a while there, but it has died down a tad lately. I had the locks for about 4 or 5 years in the end and was happy to see them go, especially for such a good cause.
Some more on Tendai.
Night before game meal:
Any pre match superstitions:
Socks before boots
Most annoying team mate:
Kane “Milney” Ransted
Funniest team mate:
If you had to invite 4 famous people to dinner, who would they be?
Matthew Richardson, Vince Vaughn, Jessica Alba, Homer Simpson
Favourite Andrew Jarman quote
“If you can’t kick you can’t play”
Source: Take Five on Perth Demons website
I think over the past couple of years we’ve designed a game around our strengths which is based on hard running and quick ball movement. Unfortunately we aren’t blessed with lots of talls like some other clubs, so it is important that we use that speed across the ground as our major weapon. Off the field the club appears to be in good shape. The facilities we have would rival any local club. The future looks bright for the PFC, we have the 2
nd tier guys starting to notch up 30-40 games along with a quite a bit of experience at both AFL and WAFL level.
What do you see as the Perth Football Club’s major strengths with regards to its performance on and off the field in recent years and where do you see the club in 3 or 4 years?
You came across to Perth in 2006 with a number of young team-mates from Trinity Aquinas, some of which have moved on. Are you happy with your decision to come to the Demons and what were you hoping to get out of it when you initially came down?