Mosquito's academy secures sponsor

ZIMBABWE boxing legend Alfonso “Mosquito” Zvenyika’s vision of reviving the sport that gave him fame received a major boost yesterday.

Local traditional healer and herbalist Sekuru Kamwelo Banda came on board to be Zvenyika’s boxing academy sponsor.

While fortune appears to have deserted the former Commonwealth boxing champion, Zvenyika has since established a boxing academy in the impoverished suburb of Mbare — the Mosquito Boxing Academy — in a desperate bid to take teens off the streets.

However, the 44-year-old has struggled to furnish his academy, which is currently housing over 20 fledgling teenagers, with the appropriate boxing equipment like punching bags, helmets, gloves and speed balls.

A visit to the academy shows that only a torn punch bag hanging from the roof is the only piece of equipment that the place resembles a boxing gym while the young fighters are going through their paces barefoot and without any footwear in their quest to get to the top.

And it is against this background that Banda was touched with the plight of Alfonso and pledged to buy the academy the necessary equipment needed to make training safe and enjoyable.

“I was touched by these young teens’ plight especially on drug abuse. And when I heard about Alfonso’s initiative to want to use his academy and take children off the streets, I just felt wanted to be part of it and that’s why we are here today,” Banda told reporters after his visit to the academy yesterday.

“We are happy that they’re taking children from the streets and training them. By so doing, it keeps these kids busy while instilling discipline.

“These kids have dreams and from today onwards, we will be moving together with Alfonso. We will sponsor them and we are going to buy all the equipment they need.”

Zvenyika, a two-time Commonwealth flyweight champion, was short of words by the gesture shown by Banda.
“I would like to thank…Banda for the help which he brings to the Mbare community. It’s not for me alone but the whole Mbare community,” Zvenyika said.

“I’m really grateful, we have received lots of groceries today and we have been told that the boxing equipment has since been ordered in South Africa. This means a lot to the academy and we hope to unearth more champions.”

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