Kabini is on board and loving it

Zandille Matilda Kabini became a boxing personality by default.

"My sister used to wake up in the wee hours to watch boxing on TV. This was during the time when TV sets were operated on generators," she recalls with laughter.

That sentiment has remained with her, explains Kabini, now a senior female board member of Boxing SA (BSA).

"I then started reading about the likes of Jacob 'Baby Jake' Matlala, Dingaan 'The Rose of Soweto' Thobela and later on American mega star Floyd 'Money' Mayweather Junior.

"What really drew me into this sport was Matlala's height. I kept wondering as to how such a short boxer fought against taller opponents and still beat them," she says about the late Matlala, who won three world titles in two weight divisions.

Kabini unlocked her own opportunity to serve in the board of BSA. "I applied and, fortunately, I was appointed to the board by then sports minister Fikile Mbalula in 2014.

"My appointment was formally announced in the audit committee meeting of the Sport and Recreation SA where I still serve as the audit committee member.

Kabini previously served under Muditambi Ravele, the first female to chair BSA since the boxing body was established in 2001.

Other board members were Peter Ngatane, Khulile Radu, Mzamo Gumbi, Zoyisile Gcilitshana and Luthando Jack.

Their term ended last year and former sport minister Thulas Nxesi reappointed Kabini, Radu, Gumbi and Jack to the current board.

Nxesi brought on new members Letlhogonolo Noge-Tungamirai and Gilberto Martins with Ngatane as the chairman. Their term ends in 2020.

"My first term was strenuous," recalls Kabini, homegirl to Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi in Jane Furse, Limpopo. "We had lots of challenges but I managed to settle in well and execute my responsibilities as a board member, chairperson of human resource and finance committee, and as a member of the audit committee."

Kabini was not shocked to make it to the current board.

"I think it was very important for the minister to consider retaining the previous board members for business continuity purposes."