Happyboy is my Hero

In this letter to the Sunday Time Heritage Project, former Mdantsane resident and Happyboy fan Daphne Fanie recalls how her family used to huddle around the wireless in their two-roomed house "just to hear him win".

Dear Sunday Times Heritage

I was deeply moved after seeing my township, Mdantsane (Mdazbee), and my hero on your wonderful website. I knew Nkosana "Happyboy" Mgxaji when I was still at Fanti Gaqa Higher Primary School. His green home was one of the biggest ones in NU 6. He was my family's champion. We used to listen to his fights on those small radios we used to call wayles (wireless), in a two-roomed house, where neighbours would join us, just to hear him win.

My parents used to chase us out of the house because we were making a noise and we would climb on top of dustbins to peer in the window and see from the expressions inside how the fight was progressing, so we would be the first ones to celebrate and shout it out on the streets. Mgxaji definitely was a winner.

I do not even want to talk about Sisa Dukashe Stadium; I once went there with one of my uncles when I was seven, but he left me there and I got lost. They had to call the police to take me home as I was screaming.

All I want to say is, you have made it to the top; our heroes are recognised at last and our townships are on the map worldwide. You have made us proud of our culture!

"Viva Heritage Project, Viva. Long Live Sunday Times, Long Live" Please give us some more!


back to the Happyboy Mgxaji memorial page

"I wanted to fight, that's all."
Happyboy Mgxaji
Happyboy Mgxaji (left), sparring
© Sunday Times


Sports writing

In this lesson plan, learners will see that sports writing forms its own genre. Writers adopt a special sort of humour because they are writing for readers who expect to get a sense of pleasure from the articles on the sports pages. Learners will begin to realise that there are different kinds of written sources, often shaped by readers' expectations!

Lesson plan
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Archive Photo Gallery
Images of some of the golden moments in Mgxaji’s life and career.
Artwork Photo Gallery
See more pictures of our memorial to boxing hero Happyboy Mgxaji at Sisa Dukashe Stadium.
Audio Documentary
A young, up-and-coming boxer, Malibongwe Thokwe, talks about how he still draws on Mgxaji’s legacy for inspiration every time he steps into the ring
Happyboy Mgxaji in the boxing ring
Happyboy Mgxaji fought his first fight in May 1969 and went on to win 88 in total. Watch this rare footage of the bout between him and Puerto Rican boxing legend Samuel Serrano