Meet the singing Tete brothers! This might sound far-fetched considering Zolani and his elder brother Makazole are known for their boxing exploits.
They have blazed a trail in the boxing world by beating every opponent with Zolani making history by becoming the first boxer in the Eastern Cape to hold two major world titles in two divisions and only the second in the land after legendary Dingaan Thobela.
Makazole already boasts an SA flyweight crown, IBO junior-bantamweight contender status, IBF Africa and international titles to his collection.
While they are blessed with the gift of the jab, the brothers also have knockout voices. Makazole, a renowned chorister, has his own choir – East London Chorister (ELC) – where Zolani is a soloist.
Since its inception last year, the choir has already collected five trophies adding to the Tete trophy cabinet which is already overflowing with boxing accolades. “We are going for another [choir trophy] this coming August,” said Zolani.
He says he finds singing in a choir a welcome distraction to his boxing career although at times these world’s collide, most often when it is time to prepare for a major boxing match.
“Yes sometimes it drives me up the wall when I can’t get Zolani to [training] camp because he is [training for] a choir competition,” Tengimfene says.
“But it is better to share him with music than with al cohol.”
Zolani finds the choir demands are similar to his boxing responsibilities and says preparations are almost similar.
“Firstly one has to be in good physical condition before a choir competition. The voice must be perfect meaning dis cipline is vital. This is also what boxing demands.”
There are also dietary requirements as well as proper physical training as the longstanding during a competition can be quite brutal.
“The stomach [muscles] must also be properly trained because that is where the voice comes from. There are notes that have to be stretched so fitness is vital.”
Among the trophies ELC has won are those from the Ekurhuleni Melting Pot National Choral Festival and the National Choir Festival. While Zolani is probably superior to his brother with regard to boxing exploits, Makazole rules the roost in the choir as choirmaster.