His initial flirtations with boxing may have been seen by some as nothing more than a passing gimmick but Generations: The Legacy actor Vuyo ‘‘Gaddafi” Dabula intends to make the sport his permanent home after acquiring a promoter’s license.
Dabula’s interest in the fistic sport came into the public’s attention after the actor and his Muvhango counterpart Gabriel ‘‘Chief” Temudzani were asked to participate in an exhibition match that was used to publicise the South African boxing awards in the beginning of the year.
The boxing bug has seemingly bitten the actor since and he said that Dabula Sports Promotions will take his involvement in the real thing further.
‘‘I know that it is going to be difficult (getting into the sport) but we will push very hard‚” he said.
‘‘It is a perfect sport to start for me as someone who is not experienced.”
Dabula and his brother Siyolo will run the company and it will operate from Standerton in Mpumalanga where his sibling‚ a former professional boxer‚ is permanently based.
The Generations actor said he’s planning to use his links to the entertainment world to shine the spotlight on a sport that has lost some of the allure it used to enjoy several years ago
‘‘I will definitely approach the corporate world and tap into the many relationships I have established in the entertainment world.
‘‘I have a bit of an advantage in that regard because I have met big people in the film industry. I want us to operate a professional business and employ a marketing company‚ and also get television involved.
‘‘So I am definitely going to bring people from the entertainment world to boxing.”
Dabula said he remembers his father waking him up years ago to watch world title fights in the early hours of the morning.
‘‘I think I was about nine years old and my father would wake me up to watch fights‚” he said.
‘‘We would watch the likes of Marvin Hagler‚ Thomas “Tommy” Hearns‚ Sugar Ray Leonard‚ Mike Tyson and Roberto Duran‚ among others.
‘‘That is how I was introduced to boxing.
“I also got the privilege to play a character named Tsetse Fly in the popular SABC drama Yizo Yizo a few years ago.
‘‘The production company (Bomb Productions) used renowned South African trainer Manny Fernandes to train us so that we looked the part.
“From then on I started training more regularly.”
Dabula said his brother is interested in grooming young boxers and giving hungry fighters who wouldn’t ordinarily get an opportunity to step into the ring a chance to go far in the sport.
Explaining how his exhibition fight against fellow actor Temudzani came about in January‚ Dabula said he bumped into Boxing SA CEO Tsholofelo Lejaka in Soweto and they started chatting about the sport.
‘‘I wasn’t even aware that he was the Boxing SA CEO and I only found out later who he was.
“A month after our chat he had the idea of putting together a celebrity match to publicise the awards and I told him that I was interested in participating.”
Dabula Sports Promotions will be launched between July and August.