On Tuesday evening I received this text message from George Khosi, coach of the Hillbrow Boxing Club:
there is an accident at the gym the ring is damaged by a tax coach
It took me a while to figure out that “tax” meant “taxi”. When I arrived at the gym the next day, it all became clear.
George and his ring. I nearly cried when I saw this. Continue Reading
Part 2 in a series about professional female boxing. Read Part 1 and Part 3.
In my previous post, I showed you photos from the early fights of last weekend’s “Power to the Women” professional boxing tournament. Those first few fights were entertaining, but they paled in comparison with what was to come.
This tournament included two “title fights” — fights in which one fighter was the current South African champion in her weight class, and the other fighter was challenging her for that title.
The first of the two title fights was between Gabisile Tshabalala, the current South African junior featherweight champion, and her challenger, Nomvelo Mgcaba. When Gabisile came dancing into the ring to a tune by Zahara, with an entourage of trainers dancing around her, I knew this would be interesting. The crowd in the gym had suddenly swelled. It was loud. Continue Reading
Part 1 in a series about professional female boxing. Read Part 2 and Part 3.
I knew I would write a blog post about women this weekend.
Initially I planned to attend yesterday’s Slutwalk Johannesburg and write about that. The Slutwalk would have made a great photo-op, as well as a newsworthy blog post after U.S. Senator Todd Akin’s idiotic and misogynistic remarks about “legitimate rape” earlier in the week. But I got off to a slow start and didn’t make the Slutwalk.
Luckily I had a second chance to celebrate female awesomeness yesterday. In the afternoon I journeyed to the Brakpan Indoor Sports Centre for the “Power to the Women” professional boxing tournament. Continue Reading
A few years ago, I wandered into a sports arena in Virginia’s D.C. suburbs and discovered roller derby. The Cherry Blossom Bombshells and Scare Force One — the top two teams in the DC Rollergirls league — were cruising around an indoor skating track, elbowing one another, dodging body checks, wiping out, and getting right back up again. It was a kick-ass dance on wheels. The skaters wore short skirts, heavy makeup, and fishnets. There were lots of tattoos, blue and pink hairdos, and bruises.
I was enchanted. I dressed up as a roller girl for Halloween that year. (I bought skates specifically for the costume. I only fell down three or four times.) But after that first magical evening in Virginia, I never made it to another DC Rollergirls event. Shame. Continue Reading
Last week I went to my first-ever professional boxing match, in a ballroom at the ritzy Sandton Convention Centre. The evening included six fights with boxers from around South Africa.
The ring was set up in the center of a ballroom, surrounded by well-heeled spectators who ate a fancy dinner while watching the fights. I — along with the rest of the Hillbrow Boxing Club crew — hung out at the back in the standing-room only section. The event was named “Rumble on the Rock: A Tribute to Nelson Mandela”. We weren’t on a rock though, and Madiba was nowhere to be found.
I went to another boxing tournament last weekend. This blog has been flooded with boxing posts lately and some of you may be tiring of all the bloodsport. But I can’t get enough. The training, the fans, the camaraderie, the coaches…Boxing is a major part of my life now. As James, one of George’s trainers at the Hillbrow Boxing Club, told me recently: “You have boxing in you.” I think he’s right.
Me and George, my coach, at the Hillbrow Boxing Club a few weeks ago. (Photo: Tertia Smit)
Second in a two-part series. Read Part 1.
“Hi champ i am going to have tournament on 5 may. coach”
George Khosi, trainer at the Hillbrow Boxing Club, sent this SMS to my friend Anita and me a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sure what he meant so I ignored the message. Anita, on the other hand, tapped a quick response:
“Does that mean I’m fighting?” Continue Reading
First in a two-part series. Read Part 2.
Yesterday there was a tournament at the Hillbrow Boxing Club. It was my first time watching a live boxing competition. Young kids competed, as well as youth and adults. There were eight three-round bouts. Seven of the fights were male fights and one was a female fight.
One of Saturday’s youngest competitors.
Last week I visited Camp Sizanani, a summer camp for vulnerable children and youth. Camp Sizanani, sponsored by Global Camps Africa, puts on several camps a year — both day camps and residential camps — for kids in Joburg. (Read about my visit to Camp Sizanani’s day camp last year.) Last week’s overnight camp took place at a retreat in the Magaliesburg Mountains.
There are many things I want to write about this camp. I want to write about how, 30 minutes after I arrived, I was splattered head-to-toe with mud as the campers romped in a mud bath. (I wore mud-splattered pants for the next two days.)
My pants were never the same after this moment.
Well, kind of. Coach George Khosi is the real star; I’m part of the ensemble. And it’s not a full-length movie, it’s a trailer. Still, not too shabby.
Fiver, who took photos at the Hillbrow Boxing Club last week, also took video footage. She put together a one-and-a-half-minute film about our boxing workout.
I’m biased, but I think the trailer is pretty fantastic. Continue Reading