Ricochet News

Ex-boxers form NPO in East London to look after boxers' welfare

By Nceba Dladla - Feb 5, 2019
Ex-boxers form NPO in East London to look after boxers' welfare

Former Buffalo City Municipality professional boxers, who have witnessed their mates given the paupers’ burial when they died have decided to do something to change things around.

Secretary of Ubuntu Boxing Fraternity (UBF), a registered Non-Profit-making Organisation (NPO), Vuyani Mbinda of Mdantsane in East London said his organisation came about in April 2018 as a result of a number of boxers, who like some of the great South African football players, died and were buried as paupers.

A former South African Featherweight contender Mbinda together with former Port Elizabeth born but East London-based SA and WBU Mini-flyweight Champion Lindi Memani as Chairperson, ex Cape Junior Welterweight kingpin Xolani Sirunu (Vice-Chairperson) and as Treasurer, former IBF Featherweight titlist Vuyani Bungu’s younger brother, Dudu who was a useful SA Flyweight challenger among others, started this initiative which they aim to take to all corners of the province and country.

“We are doing this here now but our next stop is Nelson Mandela Bay,” said Sirunu, adding that their NPO, which is concerned about the lives of the destitute and disillusioned former heroes of the ring has former SA/WBU Superflyweight champion Lunga Ntontela’s twin sister Lungiswa as the Vice Secretary, ECABO President Vuyolwethu Mtekwane (as a coordinator) and as Media Liaison Officers, current boxing trainer Lunga Sekonyela and Luyanda Kana (BSA matchmaker).

Former boxers plan boxing museum in East London

Using a rich African word, Ubuntu which carries in it a quality that includes the essential human virtues like compassion and humanity, their main aim, Mbinda said, was to organise memorial services and to give decent burials to their departed folks.

“UBF is for all people associated with boxing, not only former boxers. We have trainers, managers, sponsors and proud boxing fans too who we must honour,” said Mbinda.

Explaining, Mbinda said they had two categories, a list of veterans (boxers of the 1960s to 1970s) as well as former boxers, as those who boxed from the 1980s until just recently in need of assistance.

Because of their many needs, explained Mbinda, UBF looks after their welfare with sub committees focusing on skills development, medical care and support, bridging the gap between open boxing and professionals - for the benefit of the athletes as well as look at the history of boxing through the development of a boxing museum.

This, especially in East London, an area known as The Mecca of Boxing.  

Already the UBF has managed to assist in the funerals of 13 ex-pugilists including that of a former SA and WBU Superflyweight champion Gabula “The Tiger” Vabaza, former SA Featherweight champion Leli Mbilase, former Cape Featherweight champion Sexon Ngqayimbana and well-known boxing trainer Ntaba Mtyongwe.

Mbinda thanked local businessman Theo Mvalo whose R2 000 monthly donation helps them to buy groceries for the veterans they visited each week. They were appealing for more sponsors.  

Caption: Ubuntu Boxing Fraternity office bearers from left, Lunga “Heavy-duty” Sekonyela, Vuyani “Macho Man” Mbinda, Lindi “School Boy” Memani and in front, Xolani “The Animal” Sirhunu.

Caption: A photo taken during Gabula Vabaza’s burial shows women who are so into the sport of boxing and are in the executive of Ubuntu Boxing Fraternity.    

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