MASERU – THERE are few things that Advocate Peete Libe is as passionate about as bodybuilding. Libe, from Boiketlo, Mazenod, took up body building from a young age. He was drawn to engage in physical training by societal influence as it was a norm at the time for young boys to show off their physique among their peers.
In the early 1990s, training in martial arts had gained ground in his community of Mazenod. There was a boxing club at Ha-Paki, the Mazenod Boxing Club, which held its practising sessions at Tšebelisano Hall near Swallows ground.
“My late brother used to go for gym sessions there and I got inspired by him as he transformed his body and had protruding knuckles which I envied,” Advocate Libe said. “I therefore joined my brother for the training there around 1994.”
Later in 2001 when he was in secondary school at the Mazenod Vocational School, now called Bishop de Mazenod High School, he met a teacher who practised kickboxing. The teacher had evolved into a trainer having trained in South Africa, so he encouraged young boys to take part in the sport. It was not difficult for Advocate Libe to heed the call.
The style of kickboxing at play was referred to as ring contact fighting art. Training intensively had become his daily bread. Later, he joined a bodybuilding team when he became a university student. He joined the National University of Lesotho (NUL) Health and Fitness Club, which he is still part of.
Having been in the bodybuilding profession for quite a long time, Advocate Libe has established himself in the industry and has also established a gym which has produced a number of big names.
“I am into the bodybuilding sport as a founder and personal trainer at a fitness club situated at Mazenod, Ha-Ngoatonyane,” he said.
The club is known as Parallel Dimensions Fitness. This club has produced some of the biggest names in the industry such as Mohapi Thinyane, who features in modelling agencies in Lesotho. Besides doing personal training sessions there, Advocate Libe also helps clients to attain their desired fitness goals.
“As a personal trainer, I assist members with bodybuilding exercises with a proper form in which those exercises are to be safely executed,” he said.
“I also assist with aerobics, cardio and calisthenics exercises for people whose fitness goals are not strictly body building, but want to lose weight, tone their bodies or enhance their body strength.”
Advocate Libe helps others with martial arts training for self-defence purposes as well as coaching people about proper nutrition for various fitness goals. People join the bodybuilding sport for various reasons. Some want to achieve short term goals such as attaining “the summer body” while others have long term goals of making it in the profession, he said.
Advocate Libe highlighted that fitness training can be a source of livelihood if taken seriously.
“Due to an increase in health and fitness awareness locally and abroad, there are many business opportunities opening up which include personal training, distribution of health and sports nutrition, software development of fitness apps, production of fitness magazines and fitness DVDs,” Advocate Libe said, dismissing claims that bodybuilding is only for “certain age groups”.
“There is no hard and fast rule or any age restrictions for one to participate in bodybuilding,” he said.
Advocate Libe said some people join body building programmes expecting immediate results with a lack of patience and do not last in the profession.
“All things being equal, taking into account the level of consistency and dedication, it takes about six weeks or two months for one to feel a difference,” he said.
It also takes about three to five months for close people to notice a difference, but developing one’s full potential takes time and dedication, “just like any other worthy pursuit” he said. A lot of people get injured during body building exercises due to lack of awareness of safety issues.
“It is therefore good to take safety into consideration before engaging in any bodybuilding exercise. For example, it is essential that people warm up before working on any muscle group. They also have to stretch the affected muscle after working out,” he said.
He continued: “They should adopt a proper form in doing any particular exercise. This means it is not about how heavy one can lift but how correct the exercise is done. The use of proper equipment and safety belts to protect the backbone especially in exercises that often require heavy lifting like deadlifts and squats come in handy.”
Equally important, Advocate Libe, is a dietary guidance.
“Diet plays a major role in bodybuilding. I would say bodybuilding is dependent on 50 percent of the diet one consumes, 30 percent of the workout and ultimately 20 percent of rest for muscles to recover.”
Without managing one’s diet, he said, a fitness journey would be useless. People join bodybuilding for various reasons but there are shared goals among these genders.
“It is more about looking good about one’s body which boosts confidence and self-esteem. Some people’s goal is to participate in bodybuilding competitions locally and abroad as a career.”
Advocate Libe is optimistic that the bodybuilding industry is gradually growing in the right direction, with athletes from Lesotho competing in global bodybuilding events.
“The level of bodybuilding in our country is currently growing because we now have people from Lesotho taking part in international bodybuilding competitions,” he said.
At the moment, Advocate Libe is fully committed to operations of Parallel Dimensions Fitness Club in Mazenod and is hopeful it would keep on growing to meet the contemporary demands of the bodybuilding industry and also nurture athletes who would make it to the international level.
Rabale eyes Champions League glory
Lesotho women’s team captain Boitumelo Rabale has her eyes on winning her second CAF Women’s Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns as the tournament gets underway this weekend.
The third edition of the prestigious women’s club football is scheduled for Ivory Coast from November 5-19, where eight clubs will battle it out to be crowned Queens of the continent.
“Queen”, as the Lesotho star is commonly known, was part of the Sundowns squad that was crowned champions of the inaugural edition of the tournament held in Egypt two years ago, becoming the first player from the Mountain Kingdom to taste Champions League success.
She has become one of the key players in Jerry Tshabalala’s squad having walked away with the Hollywoodbets Player of the Season in the previous campaign and currently leads the goal-scoring charts with 21 goals.
“It was exciting to win the CAF Women’s Champions League with Sundowns two years ago and in the process becoming the first player from Lesotho to do so,” Rabale said.
“I felt very lucky and honoured to make history. It gave me confidence to continue working hard and strive for more success with the club”
Sundowns head to the tournament as regional champions after clinching the COSAFA qualifiers to qualify for the continental showpiece, where they will kickstart their campaign against Tanzania’s JKT Queens on Sunday.
Rabale admitted that memories of losing the last final to AS FAR still haunts them, but they head to Ivory Coast a better team than in the last tournament.
“We learnt the hard way when we lost in the final to AS FAR and we come back a better team having rectified our mistakes.
“It’s our dream to conquer the continent again and I have no doubt that we have what it takes to get our second star in Ivory Coast.
“It will be very good to add the second CAF Champions League medal to my trophy cabinet,” she said.
The 27-year-old has been prolific for Sundowns this campaign having scored nine goals in her last five matches to take her tally for this campaign to 21 goals.
Sundowns are in Group A alongside tournament hosts, Athletico Abidjan, Sporting Casablanca of Morocco, as well as Tanzania’s JKT Queen.
Since joining Sundowns in 2021, Rabale has won the Hollywoodbets Super League twice, the COSAFA Zonal qualifiers twice as well as the CAF Women’s Champions League and is the reigning Hollywoodbets Player of the season.
Red Skins fail to raise funds for championship
Lesotho volleyball giants Red Skins have failed to raise funds for the 2023 Zone 6 Senior Indoor Volleyball Club Championship they are set to host in December.
Red Skins will host the competition together with four other local volleyball clubs – Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), Lesotho Mounted Police Station (LMPS) and Rivers – and the tournament is expected to start on December 7 and end 10 days later.
Without any funds or sponsors coming in, Red Skins will have to foot the bill from their pockets for the tournament which will see teams from 10 countries converge on Maseru.
Among the participating nations, Botswana is expected to bring the biggest contingent with 12 teams, with Zambia following closely behind with nine teams while Zimbabwe is set to be represented by six teams.
Two weeks ago, Red Skins participated in the Elite Cup in Gauteng, South Africa, which was hosted by Aqua Darshan Volleyball.
Red Skins hoped to win the tournament and return home with a hefty jackpot but they only collected M5 000 which was won by the men’s team.
A gala dinner that Red Skins hosted last weekend also failed to generate income due to low attendance and speaking to thepost on Tuesday, the club’s vice-captain, Moleboheng Mofolo, said they will have to push on with what they have to host the tournament.
Mofolo said they no longer have time to come up with other means to raise funds.
“Tournaments will require us to find sponsorships and we do not have time now, we have to focus and train well,” Mofolo said.
“Our coach already told us to camp from this week but rain is our biggest challenge because we cannot continue with the training,” she added.
Mofolo said Red Skins are fortunate that participating teams are going to take care of their accommodation and catering. She said if Red Skins had to provide those services, they would not have been able to manage.
She pleaded with individuals, organisations and companies to help the team, whether it is by offering accommodation, food, or whatever little they may have.
Giants avoid each other in Top 4 clash
Women Super League (WSL) giants Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Ladies and Kick4Life Ladies have avoided each other in the WSL Top 4 knockout competition.
The two-day showpiece takes centre stage this weekend at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena and it will see last season’s top four finishers in the league – LDF, Kick4Life, Lijabatho and Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) Ladies – go head-to-head for bragging rights.
The draw for the competition took place last Friday and the semi-finals will see LDF go up against Lijabatho while Kick4Life will take on LMPS Ladies.
Both semi-finals will be played on Saturday with the tournament culminating the following day.
Sunday’s proceedings will kick-off with a third-place playoff game to determine who walks away with the bronze medals before the final later in the day.
All four games over the two days will be streamed on the FIFA+ website and the WSL Top 4 will usher in a new sponsor this year.
In the past, the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) fully bankrolled the competition, however, Computer Business Solutions (CBS) has come on board with a sponsorship for the first time.
The competition’s prize monies have not been revealed because they are still being finalised, but, speaking at last Friday’s draw, LEFA’s associations secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi, said the relationship with CBS is one that sport should engage in.
Mohapi added his hopes that the relationship will be a long-term one.
“While others are busy at their thing, we should really grow ours so that when their distraction finally ends, they find us as united as we can be as the football community,” Mohapi said.
“(We should be) united by the efforts and inputs that emanate from the business community, especially when it is a truly Lesotho business entity because other (foreign entities) are here to take money,” he said.
Addressing CBS as the tournament’s sponsor, Mohapi said: “We are thankful as LEFA for your initiative; (we) hope you will be in this marriage quite long. We know we are just testing the waters but we have a lot that can entice you to stay longer, not only my command but the instruments that we have.”
Mohapi said LEFA’s dream is that in two years’ time all league matches will be streaming on the FIFA+ platform which was launched last April by football’s world governing body to increase exposure of men and women’s football around the globe.
Currently, only three grounds in the country have the structures for broadcasting; Bambatha as well as the grounds at LDF and Lesotho Correctional Service grounds, and all are in Maseru.
LEFA plans to add more grounds to the list with the DIFA facilities in Maputsoe and Mohale’s Hoek set to be the first to follow suit.
“All our women’s competitions, cup competitions and (Vodacom) Premier League matches that will be played in those stadia that have our infrastructure – we will be able to stream those games internationally,” Mohapi said.
“We have extended our footprint,” he added.
“We are now doing LDF – we have already put up the structure – then we are moving to Maputsoe and, hopefully, Mohale’s Hoek. It is our desire that in two years’ time we will hopefully cover all the matches and put them on the FIFA+ streaming platform.”
WSL Top 4 fixtures:
Lijabatho Ladies vs. LDF Ladies
LMPS Ladies vs. Kick4Life Ladies
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