RIP: Dingaan Thobela’s birth name and surname, first boxing salary.


RIP: Dingaan Thobela’s birth name and surname, first boxing salary.

From how much he made from his first fight to his qualification: 5 Things you didn’t know about the late ex-boxing champ, Dingaan Thobela.



Tributes have been pouring in since the sad news of South African former boxing champion Dingaan Thobela’s passing.


According to the SowetanLIVE, the 57-year-old was found dead at his flat in Mayfair, Johannesburg, on Monday evening, after battling illness.


Eddie Mutungatunga, who is Thobela’s childhood friend, confirmed the former world champion’s death.

“He was strangely unavailable on his mobile, and his family, accompanied by police, managed to gain access to his place of residence and found he had passed on,” Mutungutungu said.

The boxing legend failed to attend Boxing SA’s symposium at the Arena Holdings offices in Parktown last Friday due to his poor health.

unnamed 15


Following the news of Thobela’s passing, the SA government led the tributes on X, formerly Twitter and on its website.

“Good morning South Africa. Saddened to hear about the passing of #TheRoseOfSoweto. With a heavy heart, condolences to the family and let the memories of Dingaan Thobela bring comfort. May your soul rest in peace #RIPDingaanThobela the legend.”

The SA minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Zizi Kodwa, said: “Dingaan ‘The Rose of Soweto’ Thobela was a champion fighter who captured the hearts and soul of the nation. I am deeply saddened by his passing. My thoughts are with the Thobela family and the South African boxing fraternity.”


1. DINGAAN THOBELA IS NOT HIS BIRTH NAME – The multiple world-boxing champion was born

Bongani Mahlangu. Speaking to David Mashabela in September 2023 on the radio host’s YouTube podcast, Thobela revealed that he later got the name Dingaan from his paternal grandmother whom he lived with after his parents separated. His grandmother named him after the late Zulu king, Dingane ka Senzangakhona. Thobela said he officially changed his name and surname when he turned 18 years old.

2. QUALIFIED TEACHER – He studied teaching at the Soweto College, however, he only worked as a student teacher as his boxing career was taking off at the time.

3. FIRST PAYMENT – Thobela’s first salary or payment from his first fight was R65. While the amount had more value or buying power in the 1990s than it has now, he said that it was still very little and couldn’t get him much.

4. HOW HE GOT HIS NICKNAME – The late former athlete was popularly known as the “Rose of Soweto”. At first, Thobela was dubbed “Rose,” although he told Mashabela that he never understood why. He later add Soweto because of the support he received from the people in an around his township of Chiawela, which is in Soweto.

5. MUHAMMAD ALI WAS HIS IDOL – When it comes to his hero’s, Thobela looked up to the late, great American boxing champion Muhammad Ali who passed away in 2016. The SA boxer admired Ali’s mastering of the rope-a-dope fighting technique – the strategy of ducking punches from your opponent whilst leaning against the ropes.


Alaa Hamdy

Professional entertainment content writer in Hanover, South Africa. I know all the secrets of celebrities

Related Articles

Back to top button