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Hellen Baleke, the most experienced among the Female boxers

The Life Of Female Boxers In Uganda

Female boxers live impoverished lives in one of the largest slums in the Ugandan capital, Kampala. Without permanent shelter or jobs, 23-year-old Morine Nakilyowa,[3] 17-year-old Lydia Nantale, 24-year-old Hellen Baleke and 20-year-old Diana Tulyanabo have resorted to boxing as a way to survive the harsh conditions of the crime-ridden Katanga slum. [9]

Check also: The Timorous Ghetto Living In Uganda

Over the past few years, they have featured prominently in local tournaments, representing the Katanga-based Rhino Boxing Club. But the women have yet to get the recognition afforded to their male counterparts. [5]

The closest these female boxers have come to career-defining moments was a potential debut at the International Boxing Association’s World Amateur Boxing Championships in China in 2012 – only to be let down by a lack of funding from their government. [1]
Morine Nakilyowa said her four children have inspired her to pursue her boxing career. ‘I am a boxer because of mainly three reasons,’ she says: ‘Passion,[4] to fend for family, and protect my children from this volatile environment’
Since then, the boxers have had to contend with the absence of a functioning amateur boxing body and a limited number of credible opponents as they struggle to make their mark.

To keep active,[2] they seek out boxers from across the border – in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania – and feature on the undercards of locally arranged professional fights. In extreme circumstances, they take each other on at catch-weights.[9]

But, despite the setbacks,[6] the foursome still harbours big dreams of representing Uganda at major international tournaments.[1]

Source: aljazeera

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