Student Brings Home Bronze at the World Bodybuilding Championships







Final-year LLB student, Mr Lindile Shem, has made UKZN proud by winning bronze at the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Mr and Mrs World Championship.

Competing in the Classic Physique under the 175cm division, Shem said he was extremely proud of his results having been the youngest in his group: ‘I’m honestly on top of the world with my placing at the competition considering how nervous I was as this was my first time competing in this division and at an international open competition. Not only that, but I was competing with people above my age group who have been doing this for longer, and who had been training for a longer time.’

A newbie in the game, Shem has only been a competitive bodybuilder for just over seven months. He made his first debut in May, at a competition held on the Edgewood campus where he placed second – and was bitten by the bodybuilding bug.

His fascination for health and fitness started at a young age, as he would often make time to do push-ups and pull-ups to build his physique during the day. ‘I have always been intrigued with the idea of sculpting my body and making it look how I envision it and no other sport, other than bodybuilding gives you the opportunity to truly challenge yourself mentally and physically to get the results you want,’ Shem said.

Having qualified for the IFBB Mr and Mrs World Championship by winning the South African Bodybuilding Nationals, he was selected to be part of the national team that went to Dubai for three days to compete in the beautiful city of Fujairah.

Shem, whose workout regime includes moderate-to-high intensity strength and conditioning training, said it was important for him to gym hard and to eat the right foods needed to fuel his workouts and keep him energised during the day as a student.

With plans of becoming a sports scholarship recipient in order to keep raising the University’s flag up high internationally, he thanked UKZN for sponsoring part of his travel, accommodation and competition registration fees. He also acknowledged the University’s Sports Department for helping him pursue his goals in bodybuilding, especially Mr Ben Vutha (UKZN’s Sports Officer) and Mr Mnqobi Msezane (UKZN’s Bodybuilding Manager) for their support.

Shem aims to pursue his studies in the Discipline of Biokinetics, Exercise and Leisure Sciences after his Law degree; win a bodybuilding professional card in the next three years; and to recruit as many students as he can to go to the gym. ‘The gym is not a place built for bodybuilders only. UKZN has fully functioning gyms in all its respective campuses and I envision more students prioritising their health by utilising them as a part of their weekly routine,’ he said.

Words: Hlengiwe Khwela

Photograph: Supplied