Born and raised in raised in the heart of the Eastern Cape, the windy city of Port Elizabeth, former NMMU student Ashwell Gavin Prince beat the odds and stigma associated with coming from a small town to prove his worth as an international cricketer.
Prince has travelled the world playing cricket for South Africa's Proteas in what he calls, today, the "highlight of my career".
"Wearing the green and gold and representing my country for not just a short period, but for an extended period has been the best years of my life - an honour and privilege," the determined left-handed batsman told varsitycup.co.za.
Prince, now 33, enrolled at PE Technikon (now NMMU) to study Industrial Psychology. However, getting into the EP Cricket Academy was his main goal at that stage of his young life.
For him it was either soccer or cricket as these were the mostly recognised and promoted sports in the Eastern Cape. Before long, he was on the road touring nationally and internationally - facing up to the likes of Shane Warne and co. - which meant his studies took a back seat.
Even though he did not complete his studies, Prince said: "My kids will go to school whether they decide to have a career in sport or not."
A true 'Madibaz' man (as NMMU are known), Prince has remained loyal to his roots, currently serving at the Chevrolets Warriors after a stint with Western Province and the Cobras.
As one of SuperSport's guest analysts for the recent ICC Cricket World Cup in India, he admitted that he had not seen much of the 2011 Varsity Cup.
Over the years he has been on the road so much that he also confessed with embarrassment to having missed the beauty of this tournament. But, in all fairness to the man, he beamed when he heard how his former university had done this year - thereby redeeming himself with varsitycup.co.za in the process.
His biggest challenge these days are his two little boys, which is why he treasures spending as much time as possible at home - given the demands of his cricket career.
However, Prince advises students to enjoy university to the fullest, before experiencing the commitment of having dependents. But somehow Prince, true to his inherent loyalty, manages a fine balancing act, dedicating his life to the game, while devoting his time and energy to his kids.
* Ashwell Prince has played 62 Tests for South Africa, scoring 3,556 runs in the process - with 11 hundreds and 10 fifties. His Test average is 43.36, with his overall first-class average a very healthy 44.08; having scored 12,034 runs in total.
He has also played 52 ODIs (and one T20 international), having been part of South Africa's 2007 World Cup squad in the West Indies.
By Kate Nokwe