ESIBATHANDILE BASILAHLEKELE: Mzimasi Mnguni (1947-2021)

Elmon Tshikhudo

UMzimasi Mnguni wathuthela eGoli ngowezi-1967 wasebenza njengesithunywa nomshayeli womkhiqizi uGibson Kente – kodwa akazange akhohlwe iphupho lakhe.

“UBra Mzi”, njengoba uMnguni othandwayo wayaziwa kanjalo, wabuyela e-Eastern Cape lapho ayefunde khona esikoleni samabanga aphansi e-Alice.

Elwa nobunzima nohlelo, waqala isikole sakhe sesibhakela, i-Eyethu Boxing Promotions e-East London ngowezi-1977.

Mhla ziyishumi kuNcwaba ngowezi-1982, wakhiqiza umpetha wakhe wokuqala waseNingizimu Afrika ngenkathi uMveleli Luzipho eshaya uThamsanqa Sogcwe kubangwa isicoco se-South African junior flyweight.

Eminyakeni yakhe engama-36 esibhakeleni, uBra Mzi wakhiqiza abashayi besibhakela abanamandla okuyimanje amagama abo asabizwa ngenhlonipho: uWelcome Ncita, uVuyani Bungu, uHawk Makepula, uMbulelo Botile, uMhikiza Myekeni, uZolani Petelo, uMasibulele Lindi Memani, noZolani Marali bangamanye abangompetha besibhakela umhlaba wonke abaphume ezandleni zakhe.

Akekho umgqugquzeli wesibhakela emhlabeni osekhiqize ompetha besibhakela abaningi kuzwelonke nakwamanye amazwe njengoba enza.

UBra Mzi uthole umklomelo wezemidlalo waseNingizimu Afrika, i-Steve Tshwete Lifetime Achiever Award.

UNgqongqoshe Wezemidlalo, Ubuciko Namasiko, uNathi Mthethwa uthe iqhaza likaMzi ekwakheni izimpilo zabashayisibhakela abasebancane abasafufusa ngezikhathi zobumnyama zobandlululo, liqinisekisa indawo yakhe emlandweni.

Ememezela ukudlula kwakhe emhlabeni, uRodney Berman, ongumphathi we-Golden Gloves, uthe: “Inhliziyo yami isinda kakhulu namhlanje. UMzoli Mnguni, umngani wami othandekayo, umlingani wami kanye nowayebungcweti obukade impumelelo yabo ingakaze ibongwe ngokugcwele, ugcine enqotshwe ukufa ekuqaleni kwanamuhla.”

Njengengxenye yokugcina ifa likaMnguni liphila, uNdunankulu wase-Eastern Cape u-Oscar Mabuyane uthembise ukuxhasa isibhakela ngezezimali ukuze abuyise isithunzi saso sakudala emidlalweni yaseNingizimu Afrika.