Two races. Two jewels. Two trials. The first after a supersonic perforation followed by a giant slalom. The second, at the end of a straight ride that gave victory to his club Bordeaux-Bègles two minutes from the end Sunday night at the Gerland stadium in Lyon in the play-off of the Top 14. Madosh Tambwe sprang twice. The LOU came out defeated and stunned (32-25), letting slip his opponent in the semifinals in San Sebastian in Spain, where he will face the European champion Rochelais next Saturday (17 hours).
And to say that the Bordeaux winger, who arrived from South Africa at the beginning of the season, should not have been on the pitch... Romain Buros' injury forfeit paved the way for him, plunging into the spotlight a 26-year-old man whose career and originality contrast with the robotization of bodies and minds in an increasingly codified professional rugby. Madosh Tambwe is a sprinter who had too much rage in him to remain glued to synthetic tracks under the orders and judgments of a stopwatch. He lowered his times to 10′'50 in the 100 m and 22' in the 200 m but it was other demons that he had to flee with his legs around his neck. Born in Kinshasa to a Congolese father and a South African mother, he grew up in a difficult neighborhood of Johannesburg, Yeoville, and practiced athletics with his older brother, pushed by a mother who saw it as a way to save her sons from bad company. He was twelve years old when she died giving birth to twins, only one of whom survived.
Tobacco, alcohol, drugs...
"It's the darkest experience of my life," Madosh Tambwe said in an interview with L'Equipe. I stopped the sport for two years. I was lost. I wasn't hanging out with the right guys. » Tobacco, alcohol, drugs... The teenager goes adrift before his brother convinces him to try rugby. This is the click, during a competition between high schools. This was followed by a meteoric rise and passages by the franchises of the Lions (Johannesburg), the Sharks (Durban) and the Bulls (Pretoria). "He was still linked with the Bulls, when we wanted to recruit him," explained Christophe Urios, the UBB manager at the time. When we were given the financial deal to release him from his contract, we couldn't and didn't want to align. He told us: I'm going to take part of my own contract. He paid for a big part of the deal between the two clubs. He absolutely wanted to come to UBB. I call it class. »
Such is Madosh Tambwe, adept at meditation and mental imagery, plugging into very specific radio frequencies to find calm before a meeting, engaging in a lot of introspection, to the point of adding individual and very personal sessions to collective training. A hyperactive man of 1.86 m for 92 kg taking pills to sleep. A fine cook gobbling up burgers and ice cream on game nights. A stateless person who had to renounce his Congolese nationality before obtaining South African naturalization. A man curious about everything, tracking novelty in all his actions. A joker that has become Bordeaux's major asset.