Boxing academy in East London gets a boost

Young boxers who will benefit from the donated equipment. Photo by Chris Gilili

It was a colourful and well-deserved early Christmas present for an East London boxing gym over the weekend when they were given boxing equipment by Communications Deputy Minister Thandi Mahambehlala.

Duncan Village, East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa

It was a colourful and well-deserved early Christmas present for an East London boxing gym over the weekend when they were given boxing equipment by Communications Deputy Minister Thandi Mahambehlala.

When Mzamo ‘Chief ‘ Njekanye started a small boxing gym in Duncan Village Township in 2003, he didn’t anticipate a fate of producing future boxing champions.

For him it was merely about spreading his love for the sport, and keeping the kids off the streets.

“I had been a boxer myself before, but unfortunately I didn’t turn professional at all. It became clear to me that I was destined to produce other boxing champions,” he said.

“Duncan Village is an area shadowed with poverty and crime. It has been the case for years but I decided to be one of the people who will try and better the situation using sport.

“The boxing gym assisted a lot in alleviating crime. I started this gym in 2003 and it has been developing champs in different phases. I created champions like Thabo Sishwana, Xolisani Ndongeni and now a young promising future champion, Azinga Fuzile.”

Mahambehlala said she was touched and inspired to help the gym after she saw Azinga Fuzile fighting earlier this year.

“Their story is touching and I am happy I could be of assistance in contributing to such a positive initiative. We hope to see more boxing champions coming from this area. I wish the gym all the best,” she said.

Boxers from the Duncan Village Boxing Academy pose outside the gym with the new kit they received from the Ministry of Communications. Photo by Chris Gilili

Xolisani Ndongeni who is currently based in the US where he is reviving his boxing career, was also glad to see this development in his former gym.

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“Duncan Village Boxing Academy will always be my first boxing home, because it is where I started to fight and it is where I was discovered. I am happy to see the kids here progressing and the fact that all the talent here is being recognised and supported,” he said.

Njekanye says currently there are 30 boxers training with him and they keep coming despite considerable struggle.

“Currently one of my main challenges is transport, because I have a small bakkie and the kids here come from different places around Duncan Village and we get out very late. I take about 3 trips in order to finish transporting them,” said Njekanye.

“I am grateful though with the help we got it will go a long way. We now have a ring, gloves, and new punching bags. I will keep on nurturing future boxing talent.”

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About Chris Gilili 31 Articles
Chris Gilili, a 23 year old freelance journalist based in East London. Graduated from Walter Sisulu University media studies school in 2015. Had a stint with Independent Media, in sports writing. Passionate about news and the media.