Promoter Mau Mau lives to tell ‘hell-on-earth’ Covid-19 tale
By Langton Nyakwenda
It was hell for those six days and at some point, during that horror week veteran boxing promoter Stalin Mau Mau almost gave up hope.
After testing positive for the deadly coronavirus early this month, the 66-year-old was admitted to a private hospital for six days, a period Mau Mau describes as a time of “terror” and “agony.”
Fortunately, Zimbabwe’s own version of Don King has recovered from the virus and is looking forward to the resumption of boxing.
The second wave of Covid-19 is deadlier, according to health experts, and Zimbabwe has not been spared.
The Government tightened the lockdown early January following a spike in Covid-19 cases.
All sporting activities were cancelled as a result.
The lockdown has since been extended by a further two weeks.
However, more people are recovering from the disease, giving hope to many, including Mau Mau. The renowned boxing promoter relived his hell-on-earth ordeal in an interview with The Sunday Mail Sport.
“People have to take seriously whatever signs and symptoms they might have,” advised Mau Mau. I was coughing, feeling a bit feverish and decided to first take some medication at home.
“It got really bad and I finally went for Covid-19 testing. Strangely, the results were negative, but I convinced myself there was no other way — this was coronavirus.”
He then sought medical assistance from a private hospital in Harare.
“I went into a blackout for almost 24 hours until I convinced myself I needed a hospital (even) with those negative results.
“It was very difficult to get a bed and finally I got admitted . . . It is a very expensive facility but life is more important.
“I was admitted for six days between January 13 and January 19. Another test was conducted and I tested positive — strange indeed. However, that taught me that there are some mercenary doctors and laboratories out to make money in this pandemic. Some are fake!” Mau Mau said.
The veteran administrator believes he would have died if he had trusted the initial Covid-19 test results.
“It happens all over; remember, there is a margin of error in these tests. Even if it is 1 percent, you might fall into that group.
“After all, Covid-19 is not a death sentence. What is affecting most people is fear. You see, there was great fear among my hospital mates. It was terror and agony — everyone thinking he was dying; everyone is scared and the situation is really bad.
“But, at the same time you have to quickly seek medical help because most people are dying because they get assistance when it is too late,” said the promoter.
Mau Mau spent seven days in isolation after he was discharged from the hospital.
He tested negative last week and is now back to his normal life.
“Recovering is a process. I am very well now and I want to thank my family for their support.
“I also got moral support from the boxing fraternity.
“You need faith; you also need God in all this. I believe in having a personal relationship with God,” said Mau Mau.
He is now waiting for the Covid-19 situation to normalise before he can start to arrange boxing matches.
“We are not demoralised.
“Once we get the green light, we will hit the ground running. We have got all the chances to recover.”
Among boxers Mau Mau has promoted are the retired duo of former Commonwealth champion Arifonso Zvenyika and Misheck Kondwani.
He was Zvenyika’s manager and promoter when the Mbare-bred boxer won the Commonwealth title in 1998.
Through his “Peanuts to Diamond” boxing nights, he has promoted fights for former World Boxing Organisation Africa champion Peter Pambeni, Tinashe “Chairman” Madziwana, Philip “Mad Cobra” Musariri and female pugilists Chiedza “The Queen Tiger” Homakoma and Talent Nyagura. The Sunday Mail