By Chris Totobela
Ending the year on a high note, Mfuzo Boxing Camp honoured top-performing boxers at its annual awards ceremony on Sunday, 26 November.
Several recipients of the achievement awards were announced by Mfuzo Boxing Camp’s public relations officer, Mfuzo Dyira.
The likes of Thokozani Macwili, young Yonda Mabandla, former professional boxer Masonwabe Mgcuwe, female referee Lungelwa Diko and young Aviwe Duda, just to mention a few, were recipients of awards. There were winners of provincial awards, including Chumani Kondile, Esona Peter, Liyabona Masinda and Lubabalo Bokuva. Meanwhile, Asanele Macwili, Siphesihle Mpolweni and Phila Tambo walked away with national awards.
However, the most significant award of the day went to first-year Rhodes University student Luyolo “Killer Queen” Nketsheni, who was crowned the 2023 Sports Star of the Year.
Speaking to Grocott’s Mail just after receiving the award, Nketsheni could not hide her excitement. “I’ve worked very hard this year, and even when I wanted to drop my performance, I kept reminding myself about my dreams. I tried so much to find a balance between sport and education, and I think I did very well under the circumstances. I would like to plead with my fellow boxers not to focus on boxing only but on education as well,” she said.
Her mother, Zoliswa Nonyathi, shared in her daughter’s joy. “I did not know that I was carrying a star for nine months until she was born, and now, she keeps on dazzling me with her achievements. What I like most about her is that she knows the importance of education and church. I would also like to encourage parents to allow their children to participate in the sport of their choice,” said the proud mom.
The Eluxolweni Shelter marimba band kept the audience on their feet during the event, dancing to their popular tunes.
Several eminent Makhanda personalities, including veteran boxing coach Luyanda Dibela, who was the master of ceremonies; Sadec secretary Andile “Ace” Mpofu, who was the guest speaker, as well as Makana Municipality ward 2 councillor and former boxing promoter and commissioner Ramie Xonxa.
Xonxa told the young people about the importance of sport and its role in developing communities. “Sport is an important institution that helps to build a human being.” He also urged parents to play a meaningful role in their children’s sporting activities. Xonxa pleaded with the local boxing clubs to work together.
Mpofu informed the youths that they needed education, a strong pillar in life, to succeed. “It is difficult to achieve success but very possible. Athletes need to have a positive attitude and know what they want to achieve in life,” said Mpofu.
Manezi Mbeju of Makana Winds of Change, Thabang Hlalele of Eastern Cape Sports Academy, and ex-convict Tshiliza also shared messages with the audience.
Mfuzo Boxing camp president Ntsikelelo Maholo closed the ceremony and thanked all the participants, guests and everyone who made the event successful.