Curtain falls for Chikanda

21st February 2018
LAST BOW: Chikanda has retired Source:The Midweek Sun

BY NEO MASANAKO The 2016 Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) sports man of the year Zibani Chikanda has decided to hang up his boxing gloves. Chikanda’s last bout was during the national championships held last year in Gaborone, He easily defeated his opponent 3-0 to retain his title as the under 75kg champion, a position he held for the past nine years. Chikanda’s journey in the boxing fraternity began almost a decade ago and now at the age of 33, Chikanda feels that his body has had enough.

According to the athlete, the time has come to let it all go and make way for fresh blood to take local amateur boxing forward. He is currently an assistant coach at his club, Eastern Military Garrison (EMG) and is waiting for the right time to make a permanent move into the coaching sphere.‘ I am not getting any younger, I now want to be to a coach, God willing I am also eyeing become a national team coach in future,’ Chikanda said in an interview recently. Nevertheless the hard- hitting Chikanda said he will miss competing in the ring mostly, especially when he battled rivals from Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB) boxing club including Thabang Motsewabeng and Kagiso Bagwasi.

In addition, Chikanda mentioned the likes of Lentswe Zwinila of Glen Valley Club and Mmusi Tswiige of Prisons as some of the athletes who made his boxing days both exciting and memorable. He defined Motsewabeng as a best friend that helped him mature fast in the combat sport. However during matches time, they often turned into sworn enemies, “ He always gave me stiff competition in the ring and I will always cherish our moments together.”

Meanwhile Chikanda commands an illustrious international career having won gold at the Zone 4 competitions held in Pretoria in 2015, he also went on to grab silver at the African Championships held in Morocco. It was still in the year 2015 that he managed to qualify for the World Championships staged in Doha, he however exited in the preliminary stages. Looking back, Chikanda has no regrets but said he had wished to compete at the Olympics and the Commonwealth games before he retired.

Nevertheless he said he will find comfort in working tirelessly to assist upcoming boxers realize their dreams. His former coach Emmanuel Galeboe defined Chikanda as a boxer to reckon with, “I believed he was still an asset to the country however there is an end to everything, he needs to rest,” Galeboe said. Galeboe further said the athlete was highly disciplined and implemented all his instructions in the ring. The coach said it was only through perseverance and determination that Chikanda managed to remain a champion for nine years.

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