From street fighter to activist, 'Bumblebee' Mkhasibe looks to pay it forward
Middleweight fighter, Noxolo 'Bumblebee' Mkhasibe, said her focus has changed from trying to make quick cash in scrappy fights to falling in love with the sport as she learned more about it.
JOHANNESBURG – The dance in the ring is about power, strength, grace and mental tactics, with very few women picking up gloves to become fighters.
One such woman is KwaZulu-Natal’s Noxolo “Bumblebee” Mkhasibe, who became a boxer two years ago and competed along with other fighters in the Rise of Women in Boxing Series.
"It was just two years ago when I was scouted by Coach Fani 'Pro' Cabe on the street. I was unemployed at the time, and I thought boxing could be a way to make a living. But little did I know that this chance encounter would ignite a passion for boxing that has become an integral part of who I am today," said Mkhasibe to Eyewitness News.
The middleweight fighter said her focus has changed from trying to make quick cash in scrappy fights to falling in love with the sport as she learned more about it.
"I loved the challenge of pushing myself to my limits, the thrill of competition, and the camaraderie of the boxing community."
Bumblebee has competed in the Rise of Women in Boxing Series, which is a countrywide initiative encompassing development workshops and boxing tournaments, exclusively catering to women in boxing.
KwaZulu-Natal boxer Noxolo “Bumblebee” Mkhasibe (right) prepping for a fight. Picture: Supplied.
“As a result of these series, boxing fans are starting to come through for female boxers with their support. And SABC has put some of our fights back on TV. This is a huge step forward for the sport, and it is a testament to the hard work and dedication of female boxers everywhere. And I am so grateful to have been a part of the Rise of Women in Boxing Series.”
The point of the series is to elevate female boxing on par with its male counterpart in South Africa, including enhancing female participation in all licence categories and ensuring the retention and advancement of women’s involvement in the sport.
“I would like to see women getting more opportunities to compete. This means having equal access to training facilities, coaching, and competition opportunities and equal pay. Women should be paid equally as men for their athletic performances.”
KwaZulu-Natal boxer Noxolo “Bumblebee” Mkhasibe (mustard and red shorts) in a during a fight. Picture: Supplied.
Mkhasibe told Eyewitness News that she wants the boxing industry to be more inclusive and diversified on all levels. Being new to the sport she wants to build a successful, long-lasting and fruitful career.
"The highlight of my career so far was my debut, which was a TKO victory at the KZN Women’s Tournament in August 2022. It was a dream come true to finally step into the ring and compete professionally."
KwaZulu-Natal boxer Noxolo “Bumblebee” Mkhasibe (mustard and red shorts) throws a jab a during a fight. Picture: Supplied.