By Austin Karonga
Tributes continued to pour in yesterday for legendary Zimbabwe boxer Langton “Schoolboy” Tinago, who passed away in Gweru on Tuesday after a short illness.
The 69-year-old boxer, who left behind a wife and seven children, dazzled in the ring between the 1960s and 1980s, winning three Commonwealth titles.
Between 1971 and 1988, Tinago was Zimbabwe’s lightweight and welterweight champion and to cap off his illustrious career, he retired unbeaten in these two weight categories.
He rose to become a lightweight Commonwealth champion between 1980 to 1983, super featherweight Commonwealth champion between 1983 and 1984 and lightweight Commonwealth champion in 1986.
He was duly named Sportsperson of the Year twice in 1981 and 1986. Yesterday, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) acting director-general Joseph Muchechetere joined the nation in mourning a great sporting icon.
“Death has once again robbed us of yet another fine son ever to emerge from this very beautiful land of Zimbabwe,” Muchechetere said.
“Langton was affectionately known as Schoolboy during his heyday. He had an illustrious career which spanned from 1967 to 1988…owing to his immense contribution to sport and a well-decorated career which could not escape attention of the Zimbabwe Sports Hall of Fame.
“As the SRC and our parent ministry, the ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation we were looking forward to working with him in the forthcoming Zimbabwe National Youth and Paralympic Games next month in the Midlands Province which is his home area but this was not to be because God had other plans. Such is life. On behalf of SRC board, management and staff and indeed on my own behalf I would like to convey our deep and heartfelt condolences to his family ….We say to his family, may you take solace in the great achievements which were accomplished by Langton. His name shall live forever and his accomplishments will eternally be engrained in our hearts. May the Lord Almighty who gives life and death comfort you during this painful and dark period.”
South Africa-based Zimbabwean boxer Felix Venganayi, who also hails from Gweru, said it was sad to lose such an icon of Tinago’s stature.
“I just want to say sorry to the family for the loss. It is God’s will….and in boxing as well we have lost our legend who flew the Zimbabwean flag high … it’s such a big sad loss for boxing as a whole,” Venganayi said.
Meanwhile, Tinago’s family is still working out the burial arrangements for the late boxing icon with Friday being viewed as a tentative date for his send off.
Due to the enormous number of people expected to attend the burial, the Tinago family is now appealing to the government for assistance in arranging the funeral logistics according to his younger brother and family spokesperson Wellington Pombi.
At the moment, mourners are gathered at No 42 Nkenyani Road, Mambo in Gweru. DailyNews