Special grant helps Luyanda Kana put food on the table

Luyanda Kana is a revered matchmaker in SA.
Luyanda Kana is a revered matchmaker in SA.
Image: Nick Lourens

Special pension is helping former death row prisoner and now top boxing matchmaker Luyanda Kana to put food on the table while there is no boxing happening due to Covid-19.

Kana from Mdantsane is matchmaker par-excellence. Matchmakers are licensed by BSA here but are independent in that they negotiate their own fees with promoters who pay them per tournament.

The man whose skills earned him 2018 BSA Matchmaker of the Year Award said times were tough but the special pension he receives since being pardoned by former president Thabo Mbeki in 2002 comes in handy.

"There is no income by means of matching fights because of the Covid-19 but I am surviving because I am one of the political prisoners who were pardoned by comrade Thabo Mbeki," the 57-year old said.

"The special pension is helping me even though it is little but I can do something to put food on the table. I am very worried about those affected by the Covid-19, especially professional boxers that depend solely on their purse money."

Kana and 32 others from the ANC and PAC were sentenced to death. They were jailed for "serious political crimes" on the eve of SA's new dispensation.

When Kana arrived in East London prison in 1989, he found political prisoner Makhenkesi Stofile there, and it was Stofile who encouraged Kana to get involved in boxing from the prison walls.

Kana started training fighters and later became a matchmaker. A matchmaker could come up with a real good fight that he knows the fans would love to see but it can't happen without promoters' interests.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.