30/11/2017 13:37 SAST | Updated 30/11/2017 13:37 SAST

WATCH: Cosmo City's Boxing Gogos – All You Need Watch Today!

Health, self-defence and community are what keep this inspiring group of women swinging punches.


TV show Carte Blanche aired a special segment on Sunday evening about an inspiring group of elderly women in the low-income suburb of Cosmo City, Johannesburg, who are using boxing classes to keep themselves young and mobile.

The episode called the women, who range in age from 65 to 77, "boxing gogos". It follows their extraordinary story of twice-weekly meetings, at which the group gets time in the local boxing ring, swiping, diving, and ducking their way to fitness.

"We're not hitting for fighting, we're just punching for our health –– to move our bodies, to move our muscles, to make us strong and powerful," says 66-year-old Mabel Mokgosi.

The classes are also working to teach the vulnerable women some self-defence skills.

"A thief will never get me with these boxing gloves. I'll hit him without him even knowing. I'll knock him down, and then I'll hit him with my walking stick!" says 75-year-old Zodwa Twala, whom residents call "the Rocky Balboa of Cosmo City".

The women started boxing in 2013, when the Cosmo City community centre started advertising boxing classes. The gogos were soon showing up twice a week to learn the ancient art.

Doctors on Carte Blanche spoke about the ability of boxing to reduce frailty, and the women are a living testament to its health benefits.

Since they started training, most of the boxing gogos have seen remarkable changes in their health, so regular, healthy exercise obviously makes all the difference.