Beating life's Odds: Brave Nkosi Ndebele is taking centre stage and making South Africa proud!

From the streets of Diepsloot to centre stage at the Sun City Super Bowl… an inspirational story of one South African’s strength, courage and determination.


Bahrain based mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation, Brave Combat Federation, will host the nineteenth edition (19th) of the Brave 19 event during Combat Week Africa between 2nd-8th December 2018. Taking centre stage on the 8th December at Sun City’s Super Bowl, Combat Week Africa will feature the world’s leading MMA athletes and is currently the largest combat sports festival in Africa ever to take place in South Africa.

Founded by His Highness Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, from the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Brave Combat Federation is an initiative under his leadership and he is, in addition, First Deputy President of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports. With athletes from more than 25 nations across five continents competing, it is clear that Brave’s goal of uniting the world’s MMA athletes by providing them with a platform to share the value of their own unique culture is truly a success.

One such youngster discovered by Grant Oliff from Fightstar is 23-year old Nkosi Ndebele from Diepsloot.

Fightstar, founded by Oliff, is Africa’s largest and leading MMA promotional platform, dedicated passionately to the promotion of both amateur and pro MMA talent. Fightstar also has a development gym called Fighting Fit Africa which offers free pre-training sessions, whilst continuously scouting for potential future talent.

Oliff, whose reputation as a ‘championship matchmaker’ precedes him, says of Nkosi Ndebele “Nkosi is the poster boy for our organisation, he has the talent, the personality and the commitment to really succeed and we’re right behind him all the way.”

Jason van Schalkwyk from Scuffle Media, a fight-focused entrepreneur and Fightstar partner, continuously screens potential talent for Brave across Africa and is in full support of Ndebele’s ability and talent.

Ndebele was forced to learn how to fight as a means to protect himself during his childhood growing up in Dieplsoot, considered to be one of South Africa’s most dangerous townships. He noted that his friends who were involved with a martial art, such as karate, were not bothered by the local bullies and this thus inspired him to join his local karate club. Ndebele discovered that he really loved all aspects of karate as a sport, from the physical to the mental, and used his skill to try and solve arguments verbally as opposed to physically.

Beating life's Odds: Brave Nksoi Ndebele is taking centre stage and making South Africa proud!

Today, his community is both proud and in awe of his ability to have ‘beaten life’s odds’ by competing in MMA championship events, with the much younger generation inspired by the fact that one can make a living from ‘fighting.’

Van Schalkwyk says of Ndebele’s ability “I have extremely high expectations for this youngster,” adding that, “Nkosi is the perfect example of the kind of talent we are constantly searching for, a young man who has a well-rounded, balanced ability with lots of personal ambition. He turned to MMA as a healthy, physical alternative to a potentially challenging life, driven by violence and crime.”

South Africa currently ranks 4th in the world in the amateur MMA leagues despite a lack of government and corporate sponsorship assistance. Many MMA athletes are underprivileged youth from tough and challenging backgrounds and whilst the assumption is that they are heavyweights, they are not, they are usually fairly lightweight at around 85kg or less. Ndebele is one such example, he is currently Africa’s top amateur fighter and boasts both gold and silver medals from the African MMA Championships.

In 2017 van Schalkwyk financially supported his decision to compete at Brave’s Amateur World Championships, held in Bahrain, where he made such an impression that there is great expectation for his performance and his future potential international launch at Brave Combat Week in December.

“Brave Combat Week are searching for a great performance and I believe I have everything they are looking for,” adding that “I am so excited and inspired because if I succeed then I may be awarded a contract for further fight events which is incredible, there’s no way I am going to let this opportunity slip from my hands.” Ndebele proudly claimed.

Details: Computicket will be the official ticketing partner for Combat Week Africa at Sun City’s Superbowl.

Sources: Brave Combat Federation 
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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