Meeting Cosmo City’s Boxing Grannies

Nhlanhla Sehume
By Nhlanhla Sehume | Follow @sehume_n
Nhlanhla Sehume is a presenter and broadcast journalist who has spent seven years working in the media starting out on community radio station Alex FM and then moving on to commercial radio stations including YFM, Kaya FM and more recently Power FM. His experience as a field reporter has seen him cover highly publicise [...] See full profile

Are you too old to get fit?

The answer to that question from a group of grannies in Cosmo City and their trainer is a convincing “no”!

These grannies put aside their sedentary ways for a pair of gloves twice a week and jump into the ring to battle against ageing and poor health. The grannies are a group of about thirty, aged from sixty years old and older.

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When I first met these gogos (like they’re affectionately called) I must admit I had my worries about these fragile-looking ladies getting hurt while trading blows. But a few minutes later, and after a short prayer by the members of the boxing club, I marveled at the sight of the grannies’ agility and strength as they packed punches while beginning their workout. They stretched, punched, shuffled and kicked impressively.

Claude Maphosa, or ‘Coach’ to his protégés has made it his life’s mission to teach the gogos how to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” – an idea made famous by the iconic boxer Muhammed Ali.

Though these gogos are not as swift as Ali in his heydays, they sure know how to pack a mean punch and some of them jokingly want tsotsis to stay far away, saying that they are not to be messed with.

But more serious is that these grannies, who are the glue that keeps their families and community together, also needed to be encouraged and supported.

The old ladies insist that they have seen a dramatic improvement in their health, saying boxing has also helped them fight off illness.

These gogos are living testament to prove that you’re never too old to get fit or healthy again.

Their story has inspired me to get off my couch and get into shape and I hope this will inspire you too.