Champion Boxer Empowers SA Schoolgirls | Inspire
Champion Boxer Empowers SA Schoolgirls
People to Watch
People to Watch

Champion Boxer Empowers SA Schoolgirls

She was the first woman to step into the ring at the township boxing club. Today Andiswa Madikane empowers schoolgirls by teaching them self-defence skills.

"As a child, I always wanted a big sister to look up to," says Andiswa Madikane, project leader of Boxgirls South Africa. "I had only male siblings, and my late brother Asanda introduced me to boxing when I was 13 years old." 

After learning how to spar and jab in the ring at Luvuyo Boxing Club in Khayelitsha, Andiswa knew she wanted to pass her skills on to the youngsters in her community. 

Watch her story here :

"Everyone said women can't box and they pretty much ignored me," she recalls. "But I proved I was a strong woman and I learnt to move my feet. By becoming a boxer I was overcoming traditional gender stereotypes, which is something I am passionate about."

After attending a workshop at University of the Western Cape and meeting Dr Heather Cameron, the founder and executive director of Boxgirls International, Andiswa knew she'd found her calling. The organisation currently operates in six primary schools in Khayelitsha, teaching communication skills, self-respect and goal-setting, academic self-esteem and confidence, and awareness of local support networks. 

"Khayelitsha can be a dangerous place for young girls, especially at the taverns and the taxi ranks," says Andiswa. "Teaching kids how to stay safe, make good decisions and protect themselves is very important to me." 

The mother of two is proud to be considered a role model and "big sister" in her neighbourhood – and is keen to see Boxgirls SA expanding to take on a national footprint. 

"There is a fire burning within everyone and I can be the person who lights that fire," she says of her important educational role. "Boxgirls SA is not about teaching girls to fight, it's about teaching girls how to create safe spaces for themselves, how to reach their full potential, and how to create appropriate boundaries."

* Boxgirls SA is a Laureus Sport for Good supported programme.

* Mercedes-Benz is a proud country patron of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation SA and donates a percentage of each car sold to the Sport for Good movement.

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