The United States Embassy and the South Africa High Commission have teamed up with heavyweight wrestler, Osita Offor, also known as De Ultimate Commander, in a championship aimed at sustaining the memory of late African statesman, Nelson Mandela.
Tagged the ‘Nelson Mandela Commonwealth Nations and America Unifying Championship,’ the event, which will hold in four countries, Nigeria, South Africa, the United States, Canada and Britain, will draw wrestlers from across the world.
According to the organisers, the event will begin in the South African cities of Johannesburg and Durban on July 18 and 20 respectively while the Lagos leg will hold July 25. Ultimate Commander’s home state, Abia, will take its turn to host on July 27 before the train moves to two cities in Britain on August 1 and 3, 2014.
On August 9 and 16, the championship will hold in the United States of America’s Dallas and North Carolina on August 9 and 16 while the Canada leg holds on August 23 to round off the programme.
The competition, a collaboration involving the British Wrestling Federation (BWF), Universal Promotional Wrestling Federation (UPWF), the Ultimate Wrestling and Charity Organisation (TUWCO) and Satellite television broadcaster, SuperSport, has as members of the local organising committee such notable Nigerians as former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro and a former Minister of Sports, Alex Akinyele, as well as Bishop Piet Mako of South Africa.
According to a release made available to the media yesterday, the championship is aimed, among others, at immortalising former South African President, Nelson Mandela, a “man described by more than 90 world leaders as the greatest leader of all time, a man of peace and epitome of unity, born and raised in the African soil;
“To drum the friendship instrument between the Commonwealth nations and the America as it affects our children and the next generation;
“To take the message of peace and unity across the two divides and instigate its practice by the younger generation;
“To act as a veritable tool for rekindling the hope of the less privileged in our society, especially in the developing economy; and
“To re-enact the struggle of the late Dr. Nelson Mandela using the sport of professional wrestling.”