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The power of courage

Our history is rich in practices that have been carried out from one generation to the other in different forms. Sports, for example, stands out as an ever evolving element of our society that cannot be pinned to specific culture or personality. Each sport has had a decorated generation just as it has had outstanding, talented and record-braking sports-persons. On the same ground, as Africans we have borrowed a lot compared to what we have given to the outside world as far sports and its rules is concerned. Could this explain lack of interest among some people as well as poor performance in some sports? Taking the example of boxing, from the time of Black-Americans like Muhammad Ali to the current generation of Floyd Mayweather in the US, this sport is yet to establish its roots in Africa, especially East Africa. Is it because our cultures recognise wrestling as an entertainment rather than a profession? Could it be affected by poor management of boxing as a sport, boxers and poor advertising?

Karim Madonga ‘Mtu Kazi’, a Tanzanian Middleweight boxer is a man on a mission. We can unanimously agree that we have many boxers in our countries, like Wanyonyi in Kenya, Sam Rukundo alias Rocky in Uganda and Patrick Kiningamazi in Rwanda who have competed and held titles in national and international stages, but Madonga, who has fought numerous fights in Tanzania is a household name as far as boxing is concerned East Africa. The hype, energy, well packaged boldness and choice of words that he employs in promoting the competitions, addressing his competitors and the media is classical, entertaining and awakening. This has enhanced the desire to follow and watch him even more irrespective of the results he registers from one fight to the other.

Today, boxing is one of the most followed sport in our region since whenever he is to fight, every ear is aware of the promises he gives in vigour and openness to the excitement of both the sponsors and the fans. He would describe his tough fisted blow as ‘ngumi ya Ndoige’ or ‘Sungunyo’ that can blast out the opponents like a bomb in a battle field like in the war between Ukraine and Russia. Tickets of all categories sell out to fill the arena to its brim, all to see Madonga fulfil his promise to the opponents. It does not matter what they will do, they must be bitten left right and centre, there is no escape route. His victory in the fight against Wanyonyi shows that confession is possession.

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