The township of KwaMashu is named after Sir Marshall Campbell (1848-1917), the farmer who owned the land on which KwaMashu now stands. But things in the area have changed significantly since the days when sugar cane was farmed on the land – KwaMashu was one of Durban’s first townships to emerge in the 1950s with the implementation of the Apartheid Group Areas Act. Today the land, which lies approximately 20 kms north of Durban and covers an area of just over 20 square kilometres, is home to more than 175 000 people, many of whom are disenfranchised. Lack of economic opportunities and poor education mean that youth in the area sometimes turn to crime as a means of survival – and this is where karate trainer, Sensei Chamane, comes in. Chamane, who at the age of 73 is a Fifth Dan Black Belt, believes that the art of karate helps to develop a sense of self discipline, focusing the minds of the children and keeping them away from the troubles that often befall children growing up in our townships. Chamane has been involved with karate in KwaMashu since 1968, guiding countless township children at the KwaMashu Indoor Sports Centre, where he currently trains.
Sensei Muzomusho Lameck Chamane was recently honoured by the South African JKA Karate Association for his dedication to the art of karate and to his students, and in 2014 received an eThekwini Living Legends Award. It is through people like Chamane that we will see the area of KwaMashu shake off its history of oppression and move towards a bright bold future!