ZIMBABWEAN -born British professional heavyweight boxer Dereck Chisora lost his maternal grandfather and prominent businessman Garikai Tawengwa who died last Thursday, Zim Morning Post can report.
He was 83.
One of the country’s early black millionaires, Tawengwa succumbed to diabetes and will be buried at his farm in Marondera Sunday.
The late Tawengwa is father to Chisora’s mother Violet who is based in the United Kingdom.
Violet took the former WBC heavyweight champion from Zimbabwe in 1999 soon after completing school at Churchill High in Harare.
“Sekuru Garikayi Tawengwa succumbed to diabetes complications, leaving behind 22 children, among them, my very good friend Viola, mother to UK based Zimbabwean Boxer Dereck Chisora as well as several other grandchildren and great grandchildren,” penned family friend Philip Mataranyika in his obituary.
Chisora was born in Mbare and his father Paul (Chisora) was a boilermaker.
He however grew up in a multi-racial family where he stayed in Hatfield with maternal grandmother Phyllis Masarakufa and step-grandfather Angelo De Souza, who was of Portuguese origin.
His uncle Paul Desouza, a martial arts enthusiast, claims that he spotted Chisora’s fighting skills and groomed him.
“Dereck grew up under my watchful eye. My dad really took a liking to him after my sister and his father divorced. He educated him at Churchill Boys High, but Dereck was a problem at school. He once beat up the headmaster,” De Souza told This Is Africa magazine back in 2016.
He also went on to reveal that Chisora was academically challenged but compensated that deficiency through utilising his strong physical attributes.
“Academically Dereck was not strong, but I saw something good in him and I groomed him. I think his early life experiences made him the person he is now; from the divorce of his parents, to the military discipline instilled in him by me. I used to make him hit punch bags at home. As a young boy he could take on much older guys and beat them senseless,” further revealed De Souza.
Like his late grandfather, Chisora has managed to accumulate millions of dollars and his net worth is estimated to be around £3.86million (US$5m) in 2020.