By Admire Machiwenyika
Zimbabwe host the first major All Africa So-Kyokushin karate tournament at the Aquatic Complex in Chitungwiza over the weekend and participants from across Africa are already in the country.
The event being hosted by Zimbabwe So-Kyokushin Karate and is expected to feature karatekas from the Southern African region that is, Malawi, Swaziland, Botswana, Mozambique and South Africa.
All Africa So-Kyokushin karate tournament, a one day event will see participants competing in different weight categories in the juniors, senior women and men as they battle it out for honours.
The tournament the first of its kind in Zimbabwe will also see one of the karate gurus Shihan Jiyuu Shibata from Japan to do the official opening and oversee the tourney.
Organiser of the inaugural event Saiko Sensei Samson Muripo and former World So-Kyokushin 2009 gold medallist explained more about the tournament.
“It is my biggest dream to hosts a World Tournament in Zimbabwe one day, something I wish to be remembered for besides my achievement as the first African to be crowned World Champion. I believe hosting the 1st All Africa tournament is the first step towards that big dream.
“I have met very talented and determined young fighters from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Namibia who have left me with no doubt that I will certainly not be the first and last African to be World Champion.
“The All Africa So-Kyokushin Karate Tournament will not be a platform to settle personal vendettas as some may think karate is about, but this is our show as Africans to learn from each other, embrace our talent and believe that we are Champions,” said Muripo.
Muripo also went on to reveal that he was honoured to host the tournament in Zimbabwe for the first time and the visit by karate guru Shihan Jiyuu Shibata.
“I feel much honored to have Shihan Jiyuu Shibata from Japan to be here as we host our first major tournament in the history of karate in Zimbabwe,” he added.
Junior boys and girls: Under 25kg, 30kg, 35kg, 40kg and 50kg categories.
Senior men: Under 60kg, 70kgs, 80kgs and Open categories.
Senior Women: Open category only.
Local Fighters to watch out for :
Shadreck Chigombe – First runner up WFKO African Championships 2015
Brian Chiringa -2015 Shorin Kempo Kaikan All Styles Full Contact Men’s
Open Gold medalist
Syndey Muzongolo – 2015 Shorin Kempo Kaikan All Styles Full Contact
Men’s Open silver medalist
Phumulani Maposa – 2015 Shorin Kempo Kaikan All Styles Full Contact
Men’s Under 65kg Gold medalist.
Naison Chituwa – Man’s Open.
Simbarashe Chadzimira- Boys Under 50kg
Jean Claud Mfundisi – 2015 Shorin Kempo Kaikan All Styles Full Contact
Men’s Open Under 25kg Bronze medalist
Brenda Dunduru – 2015 Ladies Open Kyokushin National Karate Tournament
Foreign Fighters to lookout for :
Mbali Belafornia Msomi