You may know Fortuna Bagula as the UCT vice-captain, goal attacker and FNB Player of the Match (UCT versus VUT game). The lady behind these titles is truly sensational!
We caught up with Fortuna this past weekend. She was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but moved to South Africa in 1999. She considers South Africa to be her first home and still sees herself here in the next five years. When Fortuna is not caught in a medical textbook or in her netball kit, she is either: spending time with her family, hiking on one of Cape Town´s many trails or indulging in her favourite thing: food! A lady with a hearty appetite, Fortuna says that when she´s got some down-time she will be chilling at home, watching her favourite movies or series, with ample food at hand. ¨It´s the best combo!,¨ says Bagula. Her other favourites, beside great grub, are her other favourite sport, basketball; and all things fitness, be it gyming or training. She hates snakes, worms and frankly any crawling vermin. Oh, and feet too, ¨feet and toes freak me out,¨ described Bagula. It´s a good things netball players require shoes on court then!
Her passion for netball started in grade 1. Little Fortuna was so keen to try out the game she thought was basketball, but boy was she surprised upon finding out you couldn´t dribble the ball across the court in true High School Musical style. This did not phase Miss Bagula though, who loved the game anyway, a passion which lasts to this very day.
Fortuna wanted to be a professional netball player when she was young, but decided to pursue another one of her passions as well: medicine. ¨I am a netball playing medical student¨ said Fortuna (with a laugh). After matriculating from Deskuilen High School, she started studying her Bachelor of Medicine and Science at UCT´s medical campus. ¨Juggling medicine and netball can be tough at times, but when push comes to shove, you make time and find a way¨, says Bagula, whose passion for her sport is laced in the above statement. Being elected the vice-captain of the team, was an endeavour of mixed emotions for Fortuna. ¨Sometimes you just want to be a normal player¨, she says, but with power and position come responsibility and we are sure that she, along with captain Simone Peters, have lead their team well this past season. ¨The UCT team has a great vibe!¨ says Fortuna, ¨we are all on the same basis and everyone´s wiling to put in the work.¨
And what of life in five years time? Fortuna hopes to be finishing off her degree and have a clear direction for the medical specialisation she wishes to pursue further. ¨I will probably still be in SA at that time and really hope that I will have gained a greater experience of my life¨. We are sure that even more great food experiences will also be in the mix there as well, thank goodness South Africa is the perfect place for just that! A sensational lady and someone sure to go far and be a success in all she does, Fortuna Bagula is a great ambassador and star player for the UCT netball side and UCT as a whole!
By Jessie Leverzencie