Competing at the ‘Hong Kong International Kungfu Wushu Championships’, Muhammed Junaid Chafeker once again made South African history.
Better known by his professional name, M.J.Li, he led a team of 8 young South African athletes who brought home 6 gold and 2 silver medals.
The tournament, which took place from the 10th to the 14th of April 2019 in Hong Kong, was attended by 6000 athletes representing 32 countries.
Junaid, who is the ‘Legends of Kungfu World Martial Arts’ champion, competed in the ‘Professional Kungfu and TaiChi Athletes Division’. He won 3 gold medals in the categories of TaiChi, Weapons, and Bare-hand Dual.
The team also made history by entering Salma Natalie Doran, the first female South African athlete to compete in the championship. She won the gold medal in the ladies division, essentially making her the first SA female to do so.
As he did last year, 11 year old Saifullah Chafeker once again won gold in the boys under 12 years division. Despite being differently abled, he managed to compete against able bodied athletes, claiming the first place gold.
Muhajir Abrahams and Sinawo Yola also won silver in the boys 11 year and 17 year old categories.
The entire team, led by Junaid, then combined their expertise and experience to compete in the team synchronized group event, winning first place gold, another first for South Africa.
Not only did Junaid bring home the medals, but he was also appointed as an Official Global Ambassador for the championships.
The appointment was made by the ‘Hong Kong Federation and Secretariat’ and presented by the well-known Hong Kong Movie Star, Mr Chui Ho.
The team stated that they “received wonderful support” from Minister Albert Fritz (Department of Social Development, Western Cape), Minister Anroux Marais (Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Western Cape), Cape Town Executive Mayor Dan Plato, Mr Gang Dong (Head of Hua Xing Arts Group), The Chinese Consul General Cape Town Office, NGO Awqaf S.A. and local businesses.
The businesses include Spice Mecca, Winners Supermarket, Osman’s Stores, Taz Boutique, MIB Security, Spice it Up Goodwood, and TechPak Packaging.
Given his hard work and commitment to Kungfu and youth development, it is very likely that the history books will recognise Muhammed Junaid Chafeker as the one that brought Kungfu to the South African mainstream.