Memoir chronicles boxer's journey

Thobela lauds Ndou for his tell-all book

Dingaan Thobela was the first African boxer to win the coveted WBC belt in 2000.
Dingaan Thobela was the first African boxer to win the coveted WBC belt in 2000.
Image: Thembinkosi Dwayisa

Former multiple world boxing champion Dingaan “Rose of Soweto” Thobela paid tribute to another former great Lovemore “‘Black Panther” Ndou for launching his book, which tells the story of his life as a young boy growing up under apartheid, which forced him to relocate to Australia.

Ndou – a former IBF junior welterweight and IBO and WBF welterweight holder – launched his book Tough Love The Amazing True Story of a Boxing World Champion Turned Lawyer – last week.

Ndou – who compiled 49 wins with 31 knockouts from 64 fights – talks about hardships, starting school at the age on nine, being imprisoned at the age of 16, beaten, witnessing cold-blooded murder and torture before relocating to a foreign country, where he was able to turn his terrible life around. 

He says that treatment propelled him to become a lawyer and fight for justice. Today, Ndou – who was inducted into the Australian Boxing Hall of Fame last year – owns  a law firm. He has seven degrees and is studying for a PhD in Law.

“I am very grateful to see that my brother has launched his book,” said Thobela, who launched his book, Rose of Soweto, in 2009.

“This book will help to educate people about who Lovemore really is; where he comes from and where he is going. There is no need for assumptions, the book is out there for people to read. I hope other legends in other sporting codes will follow in our steps in documenting their history so that the youth is inspired. Such documents help people know who we are, where we come from and what we went through.

“Look at Lovemore, he had to go to a foreign country to begin to live like a human being. He got over there and never disappointed but instead flew the flag of the same country that treated him with disdain. Such people just cannot be ignored. Actually, Lovemore must inducted here at home.”

Ndou pays a warm tribute to late Chief Wilbert Mukandangalwo Madzivhandila, whom he says was and will always be  a pivotal part of his life. Madzivhandila – who was the first boxing promoter from Venda –  helped Ndou to work hard  as a boxer and also instilled in him the importance of remembering and upholding his tribal and cultural heritage.

Madzivhandila passed away in October aged 92. 

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