Mashumi fought a good fight
Tomorrow, the Port Alfred sporting community will bury one of its legends, Zongezile "Ten Ten" Dzudzudzu, who died last week after a short illness.
Dzudzudzu was a man of many talents, a brilliant athlete, a brave boxer and a storyteller of note.
Zongi, or Mashumi as he was fondly called, was an all-rounder. He played rugby and soccer but was most at home in the ring.
It's in the square jungle that we witnessed the gladiator in Dzudzudzu. He had more than 100 amateur fights and won a high percentage of them.
Ramie Xonxa, who spent much time at the ringside, said this week that Dzudzudzu had fought a good fight.
"Zongi had a big heart and fans screamed all the time he was in the ring," Xonxa said.
Xonxa counts Zongi's tiff with Port Elizabeth's Sicelo "Felemntwini" Mangcotywa, then a SA amateur champion, as the highlight of fighting life.
"Mangcotywa had virtually beaten every opponent in sight, so when his people came to Kowie they thought it would be a formality - but Zongi taught them a huge lesson.
The entourage from PE sang "Uphi lo Dzudzudzu ndizomtshaya" - "where is this Dzudzudzu, so that I smoke him", but in the end it was their man who was smoked by Dzudzudzu.
Dzudzudzu also fought in the professional ranks but his glory days were at amateur level.
Mzwandile "The Fighting Prince" Sokuyeka, who sparred with Dzudzudzu, described the man as "talented and brave".
"There are few boxers who remained standing when he unleashed a barrage of punches. He could fight and he could box."
At the time of his death Mashumi was serving in the SA National Defence Force.