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From gardener to undefeated boxing champ, thanks to his helpful employer

boxing champ

Denis Mwale, a Malawian looking for work, stopped at Frikkie van Biljon’s door and asked if he could work in the garden, now he is an undefeated boxing champ

 

A chance meeting has ended in a dream come true for Malawian born Denis Mwale. Denis came to South Africa hoping to make a better life for himself and he has succeeded.

Denis was walking door to door looking for work as a gardener when he knocked on Frikkie’s door. Frikkie agreed to employ him and they started down a road neither imagined would end in a lifelong dream coming true.

One serendipitous day, Denis missed his taxi home so Frikkie agreed to drop him off. They drove through to Diepsloot and along the way struck up a conversation. Denis asked Frikkie which sports he enjoyed and Frikkie admitted he wasn’t much of a sports fan but always enjoyed the big events like world cups and the Olympics.

Denis then admitted he was a big boxing fan and his dream was to one day be a professional boxer. Frikkie told Denis that he should act on his dream and start boxing. Denis asked him how he could make his way to the top and Frikkie tried his best, with little knowledge on the topic, to give an idea on how to work his way up to becoming a boxing champ.

“I explained to him that he will have to start exercising and maybe consider coaching. He also had to start participating in championships so that sponsors could possibly see him and that he should go slowly through the ranks”

The next week, when Denis arrived at work, he told Frikkie he had joined a boxing gym. He took the first step towards his lifelong dream.

“With his meagre salary and his supernatural willpower, Denis began to live his dream from that day on.
At times he would drive 24km on his bike to the gym and back to make sure he got his exercise. More than two-thirds of his monthly income was targeted at his membership fees.”

Denis had asked for assistance with some new shoes so Frikkie decided to help him out. He ordered the shoes, a mouth guard and other accessories. When the order arrived, Denis was blown away by the gesture and promised to win his first fight.

“A week or so later, he comes to work one day and he pulls me aside. “I have a present for you. I’ve won my first boxing trophy and I want you to have it.” I burst into tears of pride by this man’s performance and gesture.”

“A few months passed and Denis persisted with his practice. He had boxing fights and every time I saw him he said, “I’m still undefeated, I’m going to be a champion.”

“Denis worked up and built himself so that one day he came to tell me, “Sir, I really sorry, but I have to quit my job. I started a new job at the gym where I am boxing. I passed my personal trainer exam with 97%.”

Frikkie was overjoyed by the news of Denis’s success. He gave Denis his blessing to go forth and conquer his dream but made Denis promise to invite him to his very first professional fight. In June of 2017, Denis called to let Frikkie know he had been given a professional fight in Joburg. Frikkie, his father-in-law and a friend all bought tickets to go watch Denis in his first big ticket fight.

“It was an experience for me to attend a boxing tournament for the first time. Never in my life have I been torn emotionally in two – you are waiting for a K.O. But at the same time, you are scared to see what it looks like.”

Next up in the ring was Denis, he stepped into the ring and walked away a champion. He remains undefeated and has his next fight on the 10th of February at the Sun Arena Time Square. Frikkie hopes to inspire others to buy tickets to the fight to watch as Denis lives out his greatest dream.

“Watch this man. An innocent young boy from Malawi who lives his dream – no matter where he comes from. He is no longer Denis of Malawi who lives in Diepsloot and in people’s gardens, he is now – like the boxers, Denis “The Menace” Mwale and is still unbeaten.”

Through hard work, determination and drive, Denis has inspired many by following his dreams. He is proof that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. This is such an inspiring story. If you have a dream, go take that first step. You never know where it may lead you.


Sources: Facebook
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Tyler Vivier
Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy. Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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