Singer and songwriter Branton Charles has opened a boxing studio to help those around him deal with their emotions – and become physically stronger.
Branton, 32, originally from Portland, but now based in Wynberg, opened the boxing studio in Wynberg on Saturday September 25.
Branton said he started boxing as he found dealing with anger challenging.
“I remember my friend Rufus telling me about this man called Mr Eddie Marshall who teaches boxing to boys and girls who want to become boxers. He took me to Mr Eddie Marshall and I never stopped boxing ever since,” he said.
Branton released a song a year ago due to the Covid-19 pandemic as it really hit a lot of industries very hard, especially the entertainment industry, he said.
At his studio, which can accommodated up to 20 people at a time, he will be running boxing classes with the help of Marlin Marshall, the son of Eddie Marshall.
With gender-based violence having a devastating impact on South Africa, he said: “I wanted to create a space for women and children to learn a skill to defend themselves as it also forms a great outlet to work out some frustration and even anxiety.”
He currently offers free training for the women at Mosaic, an NGO that empowers women and girls who are survivors of abuse; as well as girls at the St George Home for Girls.
“As a singer and songwriter, boxing was just a hobby throughout my life. I am glad to share my skills with people who need it. It brings a better purpose to my boxing journey,” he said.
“Opening a boxing studio was really challenging during the pandemic as it did create doubt. We didn’t know how the lockdown period would affect us in the future.”
Branton’s wife, Charmion Booysen said this year had been a rollercoaster for them.
“It wasn’t easy but we made it happen with the no sleep, the sacrifice, the stress, the hustle, we pulled through. With the support of our family and his clients we got through,” she said.
“His passion and drive for helping the next person is unbelievable. It just starts with a dream and a little hard work as well as the backing of a strong woman, nothing is impossible,” she said.
Eddie Marshall, ranked among the best SA boxing officials said he was “extremely proud of Branton for what he’s doing in the communities”.
“My desire is to simply inspire and to give back to our communities,” said Branton.
“This pandemic has shown me that you don’t need a lot, all you have to do is use what God has given you and trust the process,” said Branton.