N. F. Kenure
A friend of mine sent me an invitation to watch her fight in a boxing match and I was very interested in how she became involved in it. She sent me the contact details of her boxing coach Rehia Giwa- Osagie. I spoke to him about the upcoming boxing matinee slated for the 10th of February on the first floor of Ibukun house on Adetokunbo Ademola, Victoria Island Lagos.
Q:First let me start by saying, I love the landing page of your website.
Rehia: Glad you like the page, we are in the process of changing it up a little bit but that's encouraging for us, cheers.
Q: So Elite box is a boutique boxing gym right? What does that mean, what services do you offer?
Rehia: So, a boutique boxing gym is one where you specialize in boxing but not the way it's known traditionally. We make it extremely enjoyable and accessible to all. We are also a commercial boxing gym in the sense that those looking for the authenticity of boxing and looking for that experience can also have their dedicated times and sessions.
In terms of the services we offer, we essentially get people into excellent shape utilizing boxing fitness exercises as our main avenue. We are specialists at this so it's not an add-on or anything, this is what we do, what we know and have trained for, so you're in the best hands not just in Nigeria but also globally.
Q:How did this all start for you? Any history with boxing?
Rehia: I've had a long history of boxing personally as have been Involved in the sport for 10 years plus In one capacity or another either competing, coaching or just being an enthusiast or all of the above 😊.
Elitebox is 3 years old and this is our first branch of many to come.
Q: What exactly is planned for Sunday? What's on the line for the fighters?
Rehia: Sunday 10th February marks a significant bit of history because this will be the first time in Nigeria that an all female boxing showcase will be held in this country and we are pioneers of white collar boxing so it's only right we continue to make a positive impact and offer our strong and beautiful ladies the opportunity to showcase skills on our platform. I have personally trained all the ladies for a number of weeks and they are all in the shape of their lives and ready to overcome fears/ stigmas and also open minds and inspire others through getting in the ring which takes a lot of mental fortitude and physical preparation. The mere fact they get in the ring, in the first place, for these exhibitions means they are already winners in this facet of life.
Q: Why just women? Do you train men too?
Rehia: We absolutely train men as well. The gym is open to everyone; adults, kids, ladies and lads. We get a good mix and we have various classes daily whereby everyone gets to enjoy a quality session and develop their own fitness goals through our platform.
Why ladies boxing? For us, it's simple really, the majority of people that train frequently and consistently at the gym are female they endure some of the toughest and challenging sessions we have. In addition to this, experience has revealed to me that ladies actually learn boxing much faster than men do up to a certain point at least. So, they often find it easier to absorb the knowledge we impart so the skills we see and the mental robustness on display is extremely inspiring. However, this is only inside knowledge. So, to us, it is extremely important especially in a country like Nigeria where ladies are stereotyped or pigeonholed into certain categories. It is of the utmost importance to show people that we can open our minds to things like the fact that females can do anything they want to do even if that thing may be boxing. The mystique of it all is the fact that the ladies who are boxing are:
1. not professional fighters and
2. all have established and respectable full time working professions, be it entrepreneurs, accountants, lawyers etc. So, all excuses be gone and we hope to open eyes on Sunday.
Q: Are there tickets for sale or is entry free?
Rehia: Tickets are 4500 Naira and it's open to everyone. Everybody is welcome to come and enjoy the occasion. Elitebox it is very much a family community vibe and you'll be pleasantly surprised as to how positive the vibes are during our training sessions and events.
Q: Thank you so much for your time, I look forward to the fights on Sunday.
Feb 7, 2019