Businessman opens purse for fallen boxers' dignity

21 January 2019 - 09:15
By Bongani Magasela
Former mini-flyweight champion Lindi Memani is chairman of UBF that is striving to help boxers who have fallen on hard times.
Image: TLADI KHUELE Former mini-flyweight champion Lindi Memani is chairman of UBF that is striving to help boxers who have fallen on hard times.

Mdantsane-based businessman Theo Mvalo has heeded a humane request to financially assist the Ubuntu Boxing Fraternity (UBF) - a non-
profit organisation that assists families of boxers, especially those who can't afford to bury their loved ones.

Mvalo has offered to contribute R2,000 a month to UBF to help in its bid of assisting needy families of ex-boxers.

UBF was formed in April last year and it's headed by Lindi Memani (chairman), Xolani Srunu (vice chairman), Vuyani Mbinda (secretary), Lungiswa Ntontela (assistant), Dudu Bungu (treasurer), Vuyolomzi Mtekwane (coordinator), Luyanda Kana and Lunga Sekonyela (media liaison officers) and Pheleka Nontela as an additional member.

Memani is a retired SA and WBU mini-flyweight champion, Lungiswa and Pheleka are sisters of former SA and IBO junior bantamweight titlist Lunga Ntontela, while Bungu is the younger brother of former IBF junior featherweight holder Vuyani Bungu.

Kana is a boxing matchmaker, and Sekonyela is a retired boxer and trainer to SA junior welterweight champion Xolani Mcotheli. Mtekwane is president of the Eastern Cape Amateur Boxing Organisation (Ecabo).

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Mbinda said yesterday all these individuals perform various duties on a voluntary basis due to their love of boxing.

"Actually UBF comprises everybody involved in boxing - fans, amateurs, veterans and ex-boxers. We are the people who respect each other. We have subcommittees responsible for different sanctions. Most boxers are uneducated and when they retire from boxing they have nothing.

"Some are destitute while others are disabled, life is dark. We visit them and give them hope. The R2,000 we get from Mvalo is divided into two for groceries of R1,000 a family."

He said that was their token of saying those people are being remembered.

"We also organise funerals for those who die having left nothing to their families, as we know that some receive paupers' funerals.

"We also organise memorial services to celebrate their life and contribution, where speakers include former club mates, referees and all who know them," said Mbinda.