Late boxer’s biggest dream comes true

2009-10-03 15:15

THE family of Samora Msophi, the boxer who died in the ring last year, are overjoyed after his dream of providing them with a house was fulfilled this week.

One of Msophi’s wishes was to build a mansion for his extended family of 14 as soon as he won a title.

Following his death and a report on his family’s plight who lived in a shack, City Press initiated the formation of the Msophi Benefit Trust.

BK Investments boss Butityi Konki was the first to heed the call and popped out R50 000 challenging other businesspeople to match or better his pledge.

Boxing South Africa (BSA) chipped in with R10 000, boxing Promoter Branco Milenkovic threw in R10 000, Thebe Investments R1 000 and Umso Construction pledged to supply labour to the tune of R50 000.

While hopes were high that more money would be raised, the trust ­account ended up with about R120?000 which was then used to purchase a four-roomed house that Umso renovated.

The late ­boxer’s father, Churchill, on Friday said: “It is not a mansion that I was promised by my son but I am grateful for this house.

“When I was told how much was in the account and we started looking in and around the township, I found out that even two-roomed houses were selling for R65 000. We finally settled for this house but it needed a lot of work.”

He thanked all those who had donated towards the house.

Present at the function were the late boxer’s grandparents who raised him, Clifford and Nowezile.

Dignitaries included Buffalo City Mayor Zukiswa Faku-Hobane, BSA’s chairperson, Dr Malefetsane Ngatane, BSA acting CEO Loyiso Mtya, Eastern Cape representative Phakamile Jacobs, Umso employee Tolo Nkosi, Konki and all the boxers from his BK Sports stable, including Phillip Ndou and Ali Funeka.

Incidentally, Mfundo Gwayana who fought Msophi in that fateful fight, recently signed with BK Sports. Also present were former world champions Vuyani Bungu and Welcome Ncita.

Women boxing champions Noni Tenge, WBF Africa Welterweight titleholder, and Unathi ­Myekeni who has the WBF Africa junior featherweight title.

Konki, who is from Uitenhage, said he was disappointed that after throwing down the gauntlet to other businesspeople, none of them took up the challenge.

“Not even businesspeople from here in East London or Mdantsane took up the challenge. I did not even know this boy but when a call was made after his tragic death, I felt we needed to do something,” he said.

Douglas Sipeliti of Umso ­Construction said: “City Press has proven that the media must not just show us all the crime reports and the bad side of life, but must also do good deeds.”

Faku-Hobane, a self-confessed boxing fan had the gathered crowd laughing when she told of how on out-of-town trips, her companions always knew that she must be in her hotel room by 10pm on Friday nights to watch the sport on TV.
Faku-Hobane said: “This must be a lesson for all of us that we must keep our values of ubuntu.”

Ngatane said: “This might be something very small for some ­people, but the ability to provide walls and a roof over your children can be a life-time achievement to others.”

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