From school bully to golden girl of boxing
At school Keamogetse Kenosi was branded a bully.
At the just ended African Youth games the same girl won a gold medal in boxing.
Her teacher at Goldmine Junior School in Francistown remembers the day he walked into his form two class with the intention of punishing Keamogetse who was in trouble for fighting her classmates.
“I looked at the rebellious young girl in front of me and changed my mind.
Behind the defiant look I could see a fighting quality that I felt could be harnessed in a more positive way.
So instead of punishing Keamogetse I recruited her into the boxing club I was running.”
Relating the story at the golden girl’s welcome home reception last week, coach Gilbert Mambo could not hide his delight at the progress his protégée has made in the two years since she took up the sport at the age of 15.
“Her success is due to her commitment and the determination to succeed – that and the support she has had from her parents.
This is a proud day for us all,” he said.
Showing off her gold medal at the VIP reception held in her honour, Keamogetse in turn paid tribute to her former teacher.
“If it were not for him I would not have realized my potential.
When our national anthem was sung during the medal ceremony I dedicated my achievement to the man who has inspired me to do well in this sport.”
Describing her feelings as she received her gold medal Keamogetse went on to say: “I realized what I have done for my country and that I am a champion.
It was just unbelievable. I had to pinch myself to make sure I was not dreaming.”
Thanking the many fans who had come to cheer her as she defeated Algerian Algeria Chahira Selmouni for the gold in the women’s lightweight category, she said the supported had uplifted her spirits.
Proud mum Kebareng Kenosi described how she cried cheers of joy at her daughter’s achievement.
Unable to afford the trip to watch her daughter, she saw the fight on TV and shouted so loudly she was sure her daughter could hear her in Gaborone.
Such has been her parent’s support for their daughter that they transferred her to Naledi Senior School in January this year since most of her training camps were in Gaborone.
Kebareng thanked her daughter’s mentor at Goldmine for recruiting their child into the boxing club and helping to change her behaviour.
She urged other parents to support their children who have a passion in sports.
Asked what support they had received from the Botswana Boxing Association, she said that the only help their daughter got was a kit, which the association took back after the competition.
Professional boxer Herbet Nkabiti along with Keamogetse’s parents helped organise last Friday’s celebration in Francistown.
The event included a motorcade from the bus rank to a lunch reception hosted by Adansonia hotel with Mayor James Kgalajwe in attendance.
After lunch there was a further motorcade to her parent’s house in Monarch where residents came out in their numbers to welcome the returning heroine.
Keamogetse’s next challenge will come when she represents the country at the Beijing Youth Olympics next month.