Vai Sikahema and Jonah Lomu

Vai Sikahema and Jonah Lomu May 28, 2019

 

"Invictus" movie poster
The theatrical film poster

 

An important observation from the redoubtable Jeff Lindsay:

 

“He Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken: Hugh Nibley”

 

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I found this both interesting and moving.  If you have eight minutes, please take a look:

 

“Watch: How a Former NFL Player’s Powerful Testimony Helped Bring a Temple to Philadelphia”

 

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Tad Walch writes interesting articles generally, and his coverage of President Russell M. Nelson’s ministry tour of the Pacific was, as expected, very good.  Owing to my odd current travel schedule, though, and to my only intermittent access to the internet, I’ve failed to call attention here to most of what he filed from the islands of the sea.  Here is one piece, though:

 

“President Nelson thanks Tongan king for religious liberty in meeting at oceanside royal palace”

 

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I think that you might find this fascinating, as I did:

 

“Excerpts from Mark D. Ellison, “Family, Marriage, and Celibacy in the New Testament”

 

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Flying from London to Tel Aviv yesterday afternoon and evening, I decided to rewatch the 2009 Clint Eastwood film Invictus, which I had found inspiring when it first appeared.  It stars Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as the rugby player François Pienaar, the captain of South Africa’s rugby union team.

 

In the final, climactic phase of the film, South Africa’s national team, the Springboks, face the legendary All Blacks of New Zealand for the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

 

Tussauds Lomu
A wax work figure of Jonah Lomu in Madame Tussauds, London, in 2007
(Wikimedia Commons public domain photo)

 

The chief menace on the All Blacks team — who arguably constitute one of the greatest sports franchises of all time — was the enormous but agile Jonah Lomu, the All Blacks’ “left wing,” who was widely considered the best rugby player in the world.  He was played in the film by Isaac “Zak” Fe’aunati.  In the movie, President Mandela, shaking Lomu’s hand in the middle of the field just prior to the game, tells him “I’m afraid of you!”

 

Jonah Lomu died on 18 November 2015, aged just forty.  The cause was a sudden and unexpected heart attack connected with the chronic kidney disorder called “nephrotic syndrome” with which he had been diagnosed in the very year of the World Cup game with South Africa.  That disease had ultimately ended his professional career as a player.

 

Here is a one-minute video showing part of the haka that was performed in Auckland, New Zealand, in honor of Jonah Lomu at his death.  Am I alone in finding it deeply emotional?

 

I think that some readers of Sic et Non may perhaps be interested to know that Jonah Lomu and his wife joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2012, three years prior to his death.

 

Posted from Herzliya, Israel

 

 


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