Daniel Mills, Liverpool Leader
December 6, 2013 – 11:47am
SOUTH African-born Lovemore Ndou never met Nelson Mandela, but he remembers the moment he was within earshot of the man he modelled his life on.
“It was a presentation for the South African sportsmen of the year award,” Ndou, 42, told the Leader.
Ndou, a professional boxer, wasn’t even aware the then president of South Africa was going to be in the same room as him.
“I couldn’t believe I had seen him walk into the room,” he said.
“I thought only the sports minister was going to be there … but you know he has always been a fan of boxing.”
Ndou said he was a “shy man” back then and wish he had taken the opportunity to introduce himself.
The Johannesburg-raised boxer-turned-lawyer was born in a small South African community called Musina.
Now living in Casula, Ndou moved to Australia in 1995 to follow his boxing pursuits before returning home and then back to Sydney to settle.
He is a father of three and also an accomplished academic with a degree in psychology and communications.
In two weeks time he will graduate with a Masters in Law from the University of Wollongong all the while practising for a bout next March back in South Africa.
Ndou has the option of heading back home for the fight, or taking up an Mixed Martial Arts offer to fight in Port Macquarie.
On Wednesday night Ndou shared his thoughts about Nelson Mandela on social media just hours before the 95-year-old died of lung complications.
“I dream of leading the country South Africa some day as a combination of Nelson Mandela and Shaka-Zulu,” the tweet read.
“You know it is funny, last night I tweeted something about him and also put it on my Facebook page.”
“And then I noticed this morning that he passed away.”
The 42-year-old said he would champion the spirit of Mandela by teaching his kids that education is the key to success and happiness.