This township boxing academy trains champions

2017-10-07 19:23
Azinga “Golden Boy” Fuzile (left) and Mzamo Njekanye train in the Duncan Village gym. (Thembela Ntongana, GroundUp)

Azinga “Golden Boy” Fuzile (left) and Mzamo Njekanye train in the Duncan Village gym. (Thembela Ntongana, GroundUp)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

East London - Mzamo Njekanye opened a boxing academy in Duncan Village in 2003 to offer young people in his community the chance he never had.

The Duncan Village Boxing Academy is run from one room in an old building that used to be a school.

It barely has enough equipment for all the boxers and some equipment is old and broken. But the school has trained champions, reports GroundUp.

"Boxing didn't take me far, but I wanted to give the younger people in the community where I grew up an opportunity that I never received," says Njekanye.

"I believe sport is one of the tools that one can use to take the youth away from drugs and crime."

He says the people who come to his gym are from informal settlements.

"They come from homes where there is unemployment, where social grants are the source of income. Some are orphans and might never get the chance to study beyond grade 12.

"With boxing, they have the opportunity of making something of themselves, and taking themselves and their families out of poverty," says Njekanye.

The gym takes children age eight, for two hours, five days a week. With limited equipment and no sponsors, Njekanye depends on the kindness of people for donations and buys gym equipment from his own pocket.

When GroundUp arrived, a group of children were waiting at the door for the gym to open at 17:00.

"I don't do this as a business. This is something that I love. Any child that comes to this gym is my reward," said Njekanye. He earns his living as a municipal worker.

The academy has produced quality boxers such as Thabo Sishwane, the first professional boxer to come out of the academy, and Xolisani "Nomeva" Ndongeni who is undefeated after 22 matches. He is currently in America at the Floyd Mayweather gym.

The Duncan Village Boxing Academy operates out of one room in an old school building. (Thembela Ntongana, GroundUp)

'This is all I want to do'

Two of the boxers, Azinga "Golden Boy" Fuzile and Khanyiso Biko, both from Duncan Village, have been at the gym for years.

Fuzile started at the gym in 2006 when he was just 10 years old. He currently holds three titles in the featherweight division, including the South African title.

Fuzile says he lives and breathes boxing.

"This is all I want to do. When I see the people I grew up with, I wonder if my life would have been the same if I hadn't found boxing," says Fuzile.

Another boxer, Khanyiso Siko, 20, is currently working to improve his matric results so he can study business management next year. He started at the gym in 2008.

"Some of my friends were attending the gym and I would come with them sometimes. At first I came only when I was bored. Then I fell in love with it.

"I won my first fight and I've never stopped since then," said Siko.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

News24 (@News24) | Twitter

The latest Tweets from News24 (@News24). News24 is Southern Africa and Africa's premier online news resource reaching over 2.3 million local users each month.

Read more on:    port elizabeth

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.