What has really become of Women in Boxing, BSA?

Former BSA chair Ravele brains behind project

Muditambi Ravele is on the board of Cricket SA.
Muditambi Ravele is on the board of Cricket SA.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Accomplished veteran administrator and former Boxing SA chairperson Muditambi Ravele is not gloating over her successes with the Women in Boxing programme. 

Ravele started the programme in 2015 while she was BSA chairperson. Current chairperson of that programme – ZandileKabini – was part of Ravele’s board which made strides to ensure women in general did not only feel welcomed in the historically male-dominated sport but were a real force to be reckoned with. 

Ravele shared some responsibilities with Kabini and they implemented that programme with aplomb until the term of office for her board expired in 2017. 

When arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa announced the new order, he retained Kabini. She is now chairperson of that programme. Kabini has been faced by serious challenges, the national hard lockdown among others. 

The last time Boxing SA hosted a Women Only boxing was in 2017 when Mbali Zantsi staged it at Kagiso Memorial where Noni Tenge retained her WBF junior middleweight belt on points over 10 rounds against Mapule  Ngubane. 

Kabini could not be reached for comment after several calls this week. 

Apparently, BSA had no budget to do anything in 2019. CEO Tsholofelo Lejaka had to pull some strings for the regulator to host the awards at the Sandton Convention Centre. 

The Women in Boxing programme is not about hosting women-only tournament but instead anything that has to do with women. It could be a symposium where they will discuss issues that affect them.

Ravele used it to guarantee women action in August which is celebrated throughout the month to commemorate the iconic 20,000 women who marched to the Union Building in 1956 to protest against the pass laws, among others.

The organisation of such tournaments was done by females. Ravele successfully sold the story to promoters who got funding from government that they include one or two female boxing fights in their tournaments. 

When contacted for comment, she was as modest as ever. “It was my responsibility as chairperson of BSA board that there was women empowerment and that required us to have workshops with all our licensees and that included males,” said Ravele, who now serves on the board of Cricket SA. 

“I wanted to understood deeper what they were thinking, and with females I wanted to also understand their needs, two of which were recognition and equal opportunities as their male counterparts.

“That is why we made sure that during August and September it was about them – and that included having female paramedics so that they show their capabilities.” 

Ravele paid tribute to MECs for sport in all provinces for their support.

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