In a bid to raise funds for the construction of boreholes and water wells in Africa, renowned former Muay Thai champion and current Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, Irshaad ‘White Tiger’ Sayed, will attempt to scale Lions Head as many times as possible during a designated time period. Dubbed the ‘Lions Head Charity Run’, the initiative will seek to raise funds through financial pledges for each time he reaches the summit.
The event is made more significant by the fact that it will take place just two days after Sayed takes part in the EFC Africa 35 competition, where he scheduled to compete in a main card bout against Abdul Hassan.
“After each fight I try to do some kind of charitable event. This time I’m going to be running up and down lions head, starting from sunrise until sunset. I’m going to try and do it as many times as possible during that day,” he said.
The fundraising will take place through pledges from members of the community, who will be urged to make donations per successful ascent of the mountain. The ultimate goal is to raise R100 000, which will be used to construct 10 water wells in Mozambique and Malawi. Funds will be donated to NGO Africa Muslims Agency (AMA).
“For example, if I make it up and done six times during the day and you pledge R100, it is 100×6 and you will have to donate R600,” he explained.
He urged members of the community to come out on the day of the event, to witness and possibly scale the mountain with him, even for a solitary attempt.
“Come early in the morning or during the afternoon, bring you picnic baskets, koeksisters and coffee, and come hike up with me and make a day of it,” he said.
AMA regional head, Hassan Choonara praised Sayed’s decision to undertake the initiative just days after his scheduled fight. He was also thankful for his decision to make the AMA the beneficiary of the funds collected.
“After each fight he does some form of charity event, and we are just blessed, honored and grateful to him for selecting the AMA as the beneficiary for the Lions Head charity event,” he said.
Choonara stressed the need for water supplies in the respective countries, highlighting the women were often tasked with walking several kilometers from their remote villages just to get access to clean water. He recalled a visit to Mozambique, where AMA volunteers spent three days in a local village living with the villagers themselves. He noted that entire days would often go buy, with absolutely no access to food or water.
“That’s when you realize the benefit of water well’s in a place like that,” he said.
Ahead of his first fight in Cape Town since returning to the country after several years abroad, Sayed was extremely confident of his chances. However, he was still expecting a challenging, and interesting fight.
“He is mostly a grappler, and I am a striker coming from a Muay Thai background. He is going to tackle me and look to take me on the ground, and I’m going to be looking to stay on my feet. So it makes for an interesting fight, with our different styles,” he said.
Sayed is scheduled to take on Abdul Hassan at EFC Africa 35 on Thursday the 6th November. On Saturday the 8th, he will tackle the Lions Head Charity Run.
Anyone seeking to make pledges towards the initiative can do so via the number 083 251 9376. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)