A Wits fencer raises funds to compete in Ghana. 

A Wits University student has been selected to represent South Africa at the 2020 Junior Fencing competition set to take place at the end of February this year in Ghana.

Ayanda Tuku, a second-year biological sciences student said that he was “surprised that I made the qualification for this competition because I had a very bad season,” due to injury in 2019.

This is the sixth time that Tuku has been selected to represent the country, but he has been unable to participate in any of the internationals due to a lack of funds. Tuku is the fourth fencer from the  Wits Fencing club to be selected to represent South Africa. “I was overjoyed at the news of Ayanda’s selection for African Champs. He has worked hard for this achievement, and he is one of the most unique fencers I’ve encountered,” said Thobekile Moyo*, the Wits Fencing club chairperson. 

Tuku, 19, told Wits Vuvuzela that it is “heart-breaking to find out that someone who’s incredible at the sport actually doesn’t receive support from our government to go and represent the country in big tournaments like these.” Through a crowdfunding initiative that he has started, Tuku has been able to raise R22 000 which will cover his accommodation and travel expenses. But the BSc student still needs R2 300 to purchase new equipment that adheres to the FIE (Federate International Escrime), known as the “international standard” for fencing.

The competition will be hosted at the University of Cape Coast from February 24 to February 29, 2020.

*Thobekile Moyo is a Wits Vuvuzela student journalist.

FEATURED IMAGE: Ayanda Tuku is eager to raise the South African flag high in Ghana. Photo: Tumelo Modiba