Junaid Chafeker is originally from Athlone but now lives in Goodwood. His book, Kungfu “My journey, the history”, he says, was 10 years in the making and is the first part of his full story.
In the 1990s, Junaid travelled to China to learn kung fu, but it was in 2009 that he decided to start writing about his experiences and everything he had learnt about China’s rich culture and history
“I also wrote about the kung fu world championships in China and the United States from 2004 until 2016 and how I represented South Africa there.”
The book was launched at the Eagle Hall in Athlone on Saturday September 30, and there will be another launch at the Cape Town library on Thursday November 28.
The first three chapters of the 11-chapter book tell how Islam arrived in China and how the Hui Muslims developed their own style of kung fu in the north of the country.
The book also tells of Junaid’s childhood on the Cape Flats, his martial-arts training and his many achievements, including the 16 gold medals he has won for South Africa.
The book is dedicated both to the youth of South Africa – to encourage them to work hard and stay positive – and to his mother, Salma, who died about a month ago.
“She was my inspiration,” he says. “She was a white woman who married an Indian man and gave up her white identity to marry him. She fought against apartheid and was part of the student uprising. She was a strong woman who stood for justice and believed that even if you stand on your own if you tell the truth it’s okay.”
He says his family, including his wife, Salma, and his sister, Zainab, have always supported him.
For the past three years, he has been teaching kung fu to pupils from underprivileged schools, through his non-profit organisation, the M.J.Li Kungfu Foundation.
“This book is dedicated to all the women in the country and focuses on how men need to treat the women in their lives and how they should adjust their mindsets to take care of women.”
The book costs R150 and will be available for sale in November. For more information, call Salma at 081 711 1211 or 082 454 3027.