Reflecting on sport in 2023

Mzuvukile ‘Old Bones’ Magwaca capped off his year in the ring with a trip to Mexico for an international bout, something he had not done in ages.

As we bid farewell to another remarkable year in sports, we take pride in our commitment to delivering extensive coverage to our readers.

We aimed to serve as a home for local sports, ensuring that every voice echoes as loudly as possible.

With that said let’s take a closer look at some of the headlines that graced our sports pages this year:

None come in any particular order but most definitely we should mention the brilliant year that was for the Western Cape boxing.

The Western Cape experienced its best year in boxing, with the 12th BSA-sanctioned boxing event headlined by the highly-rated Simamkele Tutsheni from Langa.

Facing her first international opponent, Mimu Adidya from Malawi, Tutsheni showcased the growing prowess of Cape Town’s talent.

This year it introduced promising boxers like Asakhe Nocele, Khaya Mlata, and Anele Hela, who seized the opportunities provided by the numerous boxing events to make significant strides in their young careers.

A televised SA featherweight title fight between Abdul-Aziz Kunert and Zolisa Batyi, ending in a draw, stood out among the highlights.

The event, promoted by Savva Savvas, showcased the city’s boxing prowess.

Old Bones, Mzuvukile Magwaca, was also in the spotlight as he played a supporting role in the televised event.

He would go on to relive his dream on the international stage by daring to be great on foreign lands, facing Bryan Mercado Vazquez in Mexico, even though a doctor’s stoppage cut his comeback short. Stopping what had all the makings of an all-time high comeback.

On the rugby front, there was no shortage of extravaganza.

The annual Easter weekend event at Khayelitsha Stadium, hosted by Blue Jets, celebrated amateur sport in grand style.

This tournament offered competitive rugby to amateur clubs and served as a family event, providing those not fortunate enough to play at the highest level with the competition they desired.

The tournament, alternating between Cape Town and the Eastern Cape, even attracted national media attention, showcasing talent in the heart of the kasi.

In the realm of football, Cape Town Roses rose to the occasion as one of the best female sides in the Cape Metropole. Still on that rugby note, 2023 was a special year for Langa’s Busy Bees, the oldest black rugby club in the Western Cape who celebrated 100 years of existence.

Their victory in this year’s Engen KO tournament, defeating rivals RV United 2-0, earned them a ticket to the national stage in the Champ of Champs.

Guided by Xolile Madikane, the Roses faced off against leg winners from other parts of the country, gaining valuable experience at the national level. Madikane sure knows how to get the best out of his ladies, evidence being the current SA senior team players, the Cesane twins among the stars coming out of his hands.

And how can Zimasa Primary School not be proud of their year as they featured in the Craven Week this year?

Four pupils from the school showcased their talent on the rugby field by earning spots in the Western Province team for Craven Week.

Ovayo Nqamrha, Zingce Lofani, and Sinelizwi Rasmeni represented the under-15 team, while Amyoli Aqhama was selected for the under-16 side in the Grant Khomo Girl’s Week.

And a monumental achievement should have the name Vincent Ntuja in it if we look back at the year 2024.

Khayelitsha Eagles women’s side have this year made it to the highest division of the Western Cape Town Softball Association and during the year been rubbing shoulders with the City’s best softballers.

From Gugulethu to the USA connection – a monumental achievement by any standard.

South Africa’s vast basketball distance from the USA became a bit smaller when Vincent Ntunja, hailing from Gugulethu, was associated with and became part of an NBA team.

Recognised by many as the face of basketball in Cape Town, Ntunja’s dedication to developing the game earned him a spot in the Minnesota Timberwolves Summer League through the Africa Coaches Programme.

Selected by the NBA franchise, Ntunja’s involvement in the Africa Coaches Programme is aimed at building capacity, improving the on-court product, and fostering the growth of basketball in the African continent.

Also, this recognition follows his previous acknowledgement when Michael Jordan handpicked him as MVP in one of the basketball icon’s basketball camps.

Ntunja’s achievement not only put Gugulethu and Cape Town on the map but showcased that basketball is something not foreign in the country.

His journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring basketballers, emphasising that passion and dedication really does open doors to global recognition.

As we close the chapter on 2024, we reflect on a year brimming with impactful sports stories that have resonated within our communities.

We extend heartfelt wishes for a stellar festive season and eagerly anticipate the new year, looking forward to continuing our journey and bringing many more positive narratives from our vibrant sporting communities.

Basketball and social entrepreneur Vincent Ntunja, from Gugulethu, was this year selected to join Minnesota Timberwolves for the NBA Summer League.
Busy Bees chairman Siyabonga Hani and director of rugby Msutu Kewana this year celebrated 100 years of the club’s existence.
Rugby action in this year’s Easter tournament dubbed Igugu lombhoxo.
Khayelitsha Eagles gained promotion to the Cape Town Softball Association Super League Division.