- Isaac Chilemba is known in the boxing ring as the Golden Boy but few people know that the boxer has great academic aspirations
- Speaking in an interview with Briefly News, the 33-year-old boxer said he hopes to study astrophysics at Wits University
- The Malawian-born athlete didn't have an easy life but eventually finished his high school education online so he could pursue his dream
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By Peter Kanjere - Freelance Journalist
Johannesburg-based light heavyweight boxing star Isaac ‘Golden Boy’ Chilemba has, for over 15 years, fought and won many continental bouts in his glittering career.
Now, the Malawian-born boxer has embarked on a tough academic fight, hoping to conquer the classroom and become an astronaut.
To realise that goal, the 32-year-old said he wants to study astrophysics, probably one of the toughest academic disciplines.
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“I want to study Astrophysics. I have since applied with Wits University. They are happy with [my] points I have.
"Since I obtained my high school diploma via online studies at an American school, they want me to take an exemption [test] just to know where I am mathematically and [on] physics,” he said.
Speaking to Briefly News in an exclusive interview, Chilemba said:
“I love physics and astronomy. The idea of knowing and discovering beyond our planet is very intriguing to me.
"I would love to be part of those guys; discovering the unknown beyond imagination. It has always been my interest since I was a young boy in primary school.”
He is yet to start studying at Wits because they are offering online classes in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, while Chilemba wants to physically attend classes.
“Before I could go for the exams, lockdown came so I will have to go back sometime to arrange another date,” said the father of one, who admits juggling among parenting, a boxing career and studies are tough.
Chilemba returned to the classroom to complete his high school education three years ago because he dropped out while in the equivalent of Grade 9 back home in Malawi.
At that stage, his mother was bedridden and could not afford to pay school fees.
“I dropped out of school after studying for just two terms in Form One at a private school in Mbayani Township in Blantyre. The school enrolled orphans for free-of-charge and half the fees for children with single parents.
“My father was alive then but he was nowhere to be seen, hence my mother enrolled me at the school as a child of a widow so she could pay half the amount of the fees,” Chilemba said.
Isaac relocated to Johannesburg in 2003 while in search of greener pastures and turned into a professional boxer under Golden Gloves Promotions before switching to Main Events in America.
Meanwhile, Chilemba, a winner of many continental titles including for IBO, WBC and NABF, returns to the ring to face Russian Pavel Silyagin on 26 November in an international fight scheduled for Moscow.
“It Takes a Village”: Man Graduates As Doctor, Pays Tribute to His People in Heartfelt Post
In other news, YEN News reported that a local graduate had Mzansi feeling touched after paying tribute to his culture on graduation day and the large community that raised him.
The newly qualified doctor is a true believer in the spirit of Ubuntu, attributing all his success to the many lives that have crossed paths with his own.
Heading online, popular student forum @VasityWorld shared the young man's inspirational story. Dr Sibongiseni Mgolozeli wrote:
“It takes a village to raise a child.” - African proverb.
“I am, because you are. And you are, because you are.” NgesiXhosa sithi umntu ngumntu ngabantu.
"I am eternally grateful to God, my family, friends, colleagues and everyone who have contributed to this achievement, however small or big," he captioned the touching post in part.
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