September 27, 2023
Born and raised in one of the dangerous townships, Duncan Village, in the Eastern Cape, is South Africa’s World Boxing Champion and Medalist, Simnikiwe Bongco.
The athlete partnered with the Pelo Foundation in July 2023 to raise funds and awareness for children born with congenital heart diseases.
“I am truly honored for this opportunity and role. I have always aspired to use my brand to advocate for young people and the foundation is the best platform to raise awareness for young people who cannot do it for themselves” he said during the partnership announcement.
Like many other individuals who were born in the townships, life is difficult with crime being part of it. Many choose the easy way out of the township but for Simnikiwe, his life unfolded differently. He always wanted to be a world champion fighting in the biggest stages of all the time and take his family out of the dungeon.
“It wasn’t easy growing up in that environment, some of my friends ended up in gangs, others in prison. I decided a long time ago to dedicate myself to boxing and stay away from distractions. I live, eat, and sleep for boxing” he added.
Simnikiwe’s boxing started during his early teenage years, at the age of 14. This was when a deep passion for boxing blossomed, and his turning point arrived to become a district champion and the rest was history.
In 2022, his remarkable achievement was when he was ranked by the International Boxing Association (IBA) as the number one boxer in South Africa, in the 75kg weight division. He holds the admirable role of Team Captain within the South African National Amateur Boxing organization, exemplifying his leadership and dedication to the sport.
He is 5x District Champion,4x Provincial Champion, 4x National Champion, 2022 Zone 4 African Championships, 2022 Commonwealth Game Bronze Medalist, 2022 African Boxing Championships Bronze Medalist, 2022 Nelson Mandela Cup Gold Medalist and 2023 World Boxing Championship 17th Place.
He also earned two awards: Eastern Cape Sports Awards – MEC Recognition Sports award and South Africa Sports Awards – Best Newcomer of The Year both in the year 2022.
Simnikiwe embarked on a new journey with the Pelo Foundation in July 2023, as an ambassador of the foundation, where he will assist with raising awareness and funds so that more children living with CHD can receive treatments.
He mentioned that as an ambassador of the Foundation, his role has given him a sense of purpose. “I have always aspired to use sport as a way to change young people’s lives and being an ambassador of an organisation with the aim to make a difference for young people has aligned me to my purpose.”
“My end goal for Pelo Foundation would be to help raise more awareness towards their goal of raising funds for young people by getting more sponsors on board,” he said.
“Be patient, work hard and consistency will take you to places, it is possible through my story”, he concluded with a smile on his face.
To donate, contact Ms Nobuhle Nkosi at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Ms Dudu Mvimbi Leshabane at: email@example.com. For more information visit the Pelo Foundation website at https://pelofoundation.org.
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