MONEY and fame has not changed the personality of IBF junior bantamweight champion Simphiwe "Golden Master" Nongqayi, who remains a humble man.

MONEY and fame has not changed the personality of IBF junior bantamweight champion Simphiwe "Golden Master" Nongqayi, who remains a humble man.

Nongqayi is already in the league of six figures, but that did not make him change his attitude. He has an unbelievable sense of humour.

This writer has known Nongqayi since he was part of the strongest SA amateur boxing squad about 10 years ago.

He still lives in Border Post in Eastern Cape and a move to affluent suburbs has not crossed his mind.

Nongqayi is a hero in Mexico where he defeated that country's famed boxers, the Arce brothers - Fransis and Jorge - for the IBF title eliminator and the actual title.

The 39-year-old father of three had time to speak to Sowetan yesterday.

Q: Where do you stay in Johannesburg?

A: In Yeoville with my wife and Nongqayi Jnr. My daughter attends school in Cape Town and my other son is back home in Eastern Cape.

Q: Is it true that you like the bottle?

A: (laughing) Yes and I don't hide this but I don't touch alcohol when I prepare for fights. I also want to state categorically that I'm not an alcoholic.

Q: You sound drunk as I'm talking to you?

A: Ja, my brother. Ndishushile (I'm drunk).

Q: Did you believe that you would be a world champion in such a short time as a professional boxer?

A: No. I thank God, promoters Thinus (Strydom) for the WBF title, Branco (Milenkovic) for the IBF title and my trainer Nick Durandt.

Q: Are you happy with your purse money?

A: (a breather) No comment. But I'm happy to be able to feed my family and buy some equipment for my gym back home where I will spend the rest of my life after retirement.

Q: Do you have your own house?

A: Yes, next to the family house.

Q: Are your parents still alive?

A: Yes, but they are separated.

Q: Are the local world champions getting the respect they deserve?

A: No. It is even worse with me. Maybe it is because I am from a far-flung village.

Q: What do you do when you don't have fights?

A: I spend time in my own gym that I opened at home.

Q: What car are you driving?

A: None.

Q: What is your dream car, though?

A: Toyota Yaris.

Q: What do you think of Jacob Zuma as president?

A: Zuma is a good president but he must discipline ANC Youth League president Julius Malema. He is a baby and needs to be groomed well.

Q: What is your favourite meal and drink?

A: Macaroni and chicken when I'm preparing for a fight, but I live on meat and pap. My drink is Hansa Pilsener, my brother.

Q: Who are your favourite local and international actors and actresses?

A: Menzi Ngubane who plays Sibusiso Dlomo in Generations and Sylvester Stallone.

Q: Which is your favourite music?

A: Reggae, especially Peter Tosh's sounds.

Q: Which soccer team do you support?

A: The one and only Kaizer Chiefs and I'm convinced the team will win the Nedbank Cup.

Q: What is your message to children who would like to emulate you as a boxer?

A: They must look up to me. I was brought up by my mother who had no money but I listened to her. The young ones must stay positive and listen to what their parents teach them.