Mdantsane is a unique, vibrating, eclectic, African place. Follow us on a pilgrimage to Mdantsane to discover the street culture, fashion, food, people, music, homes, taverns, humor, businesses, history and what's hot in the second biggest township in South-Africa, located close to the city of East London in the Province of the Eastern Cape. Join us on this journey while we capture the spirit of this amazing place for you in the here and in the now. We are going to introduce you to many individuals, artists, musicians, groups and associations.
They are the HEROES OF DAILY LIFE. They are the people who create, innovate and improve their life and their stories deserve to be told. This is a place for only good and positive stories of humanity, that will send out a message of courage, endurance and strength to the world through their pictures and words.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Once A Boxer Always A Boxer

David Once A Mdantsane Boxer - Today a bookkeeper

You are looking at David working in a container office in NU 1. David is the book keeper of the Ethembeni Old Age Home in Mdantsane. He has been doing this work on a voluntary basis for a long time until the NGO received funding and is now able to pay him.

David in "his" container office

But he had another big surprise for me that day. 
David has been dedicating his time to different things in his earlier years.
David was a boxer

Well, knowing this and looking at him now I can see that he is a boxer.
His whole personality speaks and breathes boxing.
Once a boxer always a boxer.

Even his hands seem now like a boxer's hands.
He smiles at me, seeing how surprised I am.

Did you win many fights, I ask?  Yes, many, he replies.
Are there photos? Yes, there must be some !
Meanwhile he starts "wiring" a lamp, that is intended to hang from the ceiling of the container once he has finished. 

The thing is you have met me in an Old Age Home, as a book keeper, he reflects, that is how you see me!
And that is why you are surprised now! Truly Spoken.
South-Africa and specifically Mdantsane have produced and grown some of the finest world class boxers. The talent is still here but the problem at the moment is that there are not enough trainers and not the right trainers in the township. All the young boxers move away to the bigger cities, like Pretoria, and get trained by others more affluent trainers and promoters, he says.
Local talent must stay here and we must train here and take care of our young boxers !
We have a great boxing heritage ! 

But just recently an association of former and old boxers has been created of which David is a member, and was launched in June 2011 in Mdantsane with the aim to promote and take care of young upcoming boxing talent and to train them in Mdantsane.

" The problem is, when it gets dark, it gets really dark in here," David says.
Not anymore !

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