Local karate kid keeps shining

2018-12-04 06:00
Khanya Gwabeni

Khanya Gwabeni

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Goju Kai Hombu Dojo in Mowbray has once again maintained its top position at the Goju Kai National Karate Championships as one of its students, Khanya Gwabeni, broke several records at the national tournament.

His instructor, Frank Brandon, commended Khanya on his achievement.

Khanya, from Langa, rewrote the record books as he has raked in 37 gold, 22 silver and 32 bronze medals, securing a spot among the top six overall karateka in the country. Khanya holds the title of being world champion in three divisions.

He says his success is the fruit of his hard work and self-respect, balancing his time between travelling from Langa to Athlone for school and rushing to Mowbray for karate lessons, leaving him with little free time to mingle with his peers.

“Self-respect, confidence and believing in myself take me far. Fear drags you down – it is something I do not bring to my performances. Over the years I have learned that karate can save you from many troubles. There are lot of things happening in our communities – drugs, crime and other stuff.”

The 15-year-old says he has been doing karate for 11 years and has bigger plans for his future. “I would like to own my own karate school overseas one day, maybe in Australia­.”

This is because of his passion for sharing his skills with different people and learning new techniques from others as well.

His achievement at the nationals allows him to participate at the tournament to be held in Port Elizabeth next year, which Khanya says he will use as a warm-up for the world championships in 2021.

He says he is thankful to his instructor and his teammates for their support.

“It is not always easy, and I rely on the school for sponsorships. They do a lot for me.”

The school is run by the Brandon family under the wings of two non-profit organisations, the African Warriors of Light Foundation and the Gojukai Cultural Events NPO, and has more than 100 students.

The tournament was held in Stellenbosch on Saturday 27 October.

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