ZTN Sports Reporter
SHIHAN Samson Muripo is the doyen of Zimbabwean karate, he is miles ahead of anyone who has worn or continues to wear karate gi.
However, Muripo’s humility belies his massive achievements.
Last week the Zimbabwe So-kyokushin Karate-Do Organisation held the annual Samson Muripo Karate Challenge Cup at the Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex and the man who was supposed to hog all the limelight typically chose to fly under the radar.
“It’s not about me, it’s the about the sport, it’s about the fighters,” Muripo told ZTN as some fighters who have long been touted as heirs to his throne took to the tatami.
As he looked at the future of Zimbabwean karate Muripo recalled how his own road to the top has not been a gold coated highway.
The two –world kyokushin champion had to work twice as much for half as much and remains indebted to people like Manson Mnaba for believing in him when others dismissed him as a dreamer.
“No matter how much talent one has you need people who believe in you. You need to people who add their resources to their talent,” he said.
He added: The greatest challenge we have is not the lack of talent, it’s the sponsorship. Yes, we have guys like Manson Mnaba who love karate and have poured in resources in the sport but we need more.
“It appears that most people want to be associated with popular sports only but for guys like Mnaba it’s all about giving talented fighters a chance to fight against the best.
“As I focus more and more towards development one of the things I want to do is get more sponsors coming into karate.”
As he reflected on a rewarding career Muripo also spoke about retirement.
“I really appreciate what the executive of So-kyokushin karate have done as a gesture, so humbling realising what I have been trying to do develop so-kyokushin karate in Zimbabwe.
“I hope this event will help the continuity of what I have been doing. If I am to retire today, I am happy that there are people who will take the sport on. But I may retire, maybe in competing, but the real kyokushin karate development is my life,” said Shihan Muripo.