SHE went into karate to learn self-defence, but now she is one of the best in the sport.
Siphesihle Memese has 250 medals in total from all the competitions she has entered.
The 16-year-old from NU4, who belongs to Motherwell Academic Karate club, recently came back from the All African Games Zone Six held in Namibia, competing against participants from other African countries.
“When I first took karate lessons, I was only nine years old, and it was for self-defence,” Siphesihle said.
I did not know back then that I would be a champion in the sport. I enjoy karate because it has taught me a lot, it has taught me discipline and it keeps me busy.”
Even though the matches at the All African Games Zone Six were tough, she came back with medals and got South African colours. “I am really proud of myself. I did all that I could to represent my club. There were very tough matches,” Siphesihle said.
There were two representatives from the Motherwell Academic Karate club at the competition.
Siphesihle’s mother, Nozizo, said she was grateful for the way her child has turned out. “I am really happy because I can see that karate has taught her a lot of discipline,” Nozizo said.
“Being a single parent is not easy, especially when you are a parent who does not have a job. It is really hard for me, but I try by all means to support [Siphesihle] in every way I can.
“I also want to thank her sensei, Mike Mdube, for organising sponsors for her every time she had to go to these competitions,” Nozizo said.
She is going to another competition in Pretoria soon.