Tengimfene, his charges survive Covid-19 scare
Top manager knocks out virus
Top boxing manager Mlandeli Tengimfene, his charges Zolani “Last Born” Tete and Sinethemba Kotana, and trainer Makazole Tete, have all recovered fully from the coronavirus.
This was confirmed yesterday by Tengimfene. He and the above trio had tested positive for coronavirus in December when they were preparing to fly from East London to Johannesburg where Kotana was to feature in a tournament promoted by Tshele Kometsi. The TK Boxing Promotions event scheduled for Randfontein on the West Rand was later cancelled due to Covid-19 positive tests.
“We have fully recovered,” said Tengimfene yesterday. “You know, this disease is for real and I want to warn people, particularly in our sport, to take it very seriously. Some people may not be as fortunate as we are to recover, especially in my case because I am in my 60s.
“If my boxers and their trainer did not test positive for coronavirus I would not have done tests and the virus would have gone far. The test was a very good thing for me because the disease was arrested quickly.“
Tengimfene is respected for his masterly job as a boxing manager, more so in marketing Tete to become the global star that is being promoted in the UK by unassuming 2008 international Hall of Fame inductee Frank Warren. This and other achievements earned Tengimfene BSA manager’s award two years in succession – in 2016 and 2017.
Tengimfene, who owns All Winners Boxing Gym in East London, said his purpose for speaking out was not to seek publicity but to warn other managers who own gyms to tread carefully. “Look, Boxing SA provided our gyms in the Eastern Cape with sanitisers and thermometers last year. We checked our temperature every single day and we sanitised our hands and washed them thoroughly. We were very cautious, but we tested positive for Covid-19,” he said.
“How it got into our systems, no one knows but clearly this diseases get a small opportunity and it is in your system. I could have infected a lot of people not knowing that I had it because I showed no symptom.”
He said they all spent 10 days in quarantine after their results. “I am grateful that we have recovered. We had to contaminate the gym so that when we open this month we know that it is safe. Some people may not be as fortunate as we are and that is why I am not shy to come out openly about what we went through.”
The skills of his charges – including Tete, the former IBO bantamweight champion, and Kotana – are honed at All Winners gym by Tete’s brother and retired pro-boxer Makazole Tete.
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