Kuse turns to boxing to fight drug addiction

Manager helped boxer reclaim SA minimum weight title

SA's mini fkyweight champ Siyakholwa Kuse with trainer Makazole Tete.
SA's mini fkyweight champ Siyakholwa Kuse with trainer Makazole Tete.
Image: Supplied

Sikakholwa Kuse has not only won his first battle against drug addiction, but the 23-year-old fighter from Mdantsane has gone a step further by reclaiming the South African minimum weight title from Bangile Nyangani, according to the boxer's manager Mlandeli Tengimfene.

Nyangani from Mthatha ended Kuse's reign in 2021 and chalked up two successful defences before their rematch at East London's ICC two weekends ago.

Kuse won the match by an unanimous points decision and scores were 119-109; 116-112 (twice). His loss in 2021 was attributed to his wayward life which resulted from the scarcity of fights after the sport had been stopped temporarily due to Covid-19.

There were also issues in their gym, with trainer Luyanda Sovasi leaving the establishment in Mdantsane.

Kuse ended up joining trainer Spokes Witbooi, who had only three weeks with the boxer. But the truth, though, is that Nyangani won fair and square.

Tengimfene – a qualified social scientist – came into Kuse's life last year. “He came to me with two things – that I help him with his drug addiction and that he wanted his title back.

“I took him away from Mdantsane NU8 where he used drugs and he lived with me in Cambridge,” said Tengimfene, who did the same thing with Sinethemba Kotana.

“I cut his dreadlocks because I wanted him to be clean before I informed Kuse's parents that he is with me. He went through rigorous processes of cleansing and that required 45 days; he weighed 45kg – a zombie, weak, underweight and heavily dehydrated. I had to feed him so that he [could ] gain 7kg before I could cut him back to the minimum weight.”

Tengimfene says the 16 ounces gloves were too heavy for Kuse. “We had to put him on a drip to rehydrate him,” said the manager who then took the boxer to his All Winners Gym where he is trained by Makazole Tete with the trainer's brother Zolani Tete playing a pivotal role in getting Kuse ready to face Nyangani.

“Kuse would not have defeated Nyangani had they fought in February, which was their first date; even the second date which was March would not have favoured us,” Tengimfene said.

The fight was postponed for two weekends. “I was so happy because I knew then that we will be ready,”  Tengimfene said, adding that his next mission is to get Kuse to buy himself a four-roomed house.

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