“The game of life is a game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy,” – Florence Scovel Shinn.
In 2014, the then International Ryushin- Kan Karate Do Botswana chief instructor and founder in Botswana Sensei Andrew Dobolo was a man under siege.
His juniors and students, led by Isaiah Ramontshonyana and Sensei Koorapetse Dube had launched a massive coup de tat against him.
Dobolo lost the battle and went on to form his own style, while Ramontshonyana and Dube inherited his Ryushin-Kan style.
Fast forward five years later and history is repeating itself, this time, with the men behind Dobolo’s fall now at each other’s throats and Ramontshonyana now the victim.
Following their acquisition of the style, in 2018 the two changed styles and affiliation from Ryushin-Kan International Karate Do Africa (RIKA) to Nihon Karate Do Kenwa Kai International.
At the time, Ramontshonyana stated that high and unaffordable affiliation fees from RIKA had forced them to switch international allegiances.
Speaking to this publication, Ramontshonyane stated that following years of affiliation to RIKA, the leadership felt affiliation was demanding and straining as it was highly expensive.
This change would however prove to be a start of a sour relationship between Ramontshonya and Sensei Dube.
Less than a year since the switch, Ramontshonyane has been ‘kicked out’ and the style has switched back to RIKA from Kenwa Kwai.
According to sources, the fallout came when ‘truth surfaced’ that the reason for the switch from RIKA to KENWA KAI was all fabricated lies.
Ramontshonyana’s detractors also claim that he was not reflecting true leadership of the organization.
Commenting on the current situation, Sensei Dube, who is now the Chief Instructor, said he along with the members of Ryushi- Kan only want what is right and good for their society.
“I for one am not fighting with Ramontshonyana we only want things done right. He lied to us that fees paid to RIKA were expensive and that we as a society could not afford it, hence we had to move to Kenwa- Kai,” he explained.
“At the time, we did not have direct access to the authorities at RIKA and we believed whatever he told us, only to realise later that it was all lies after we became suspicious and carried out our own investigations,” he said.
Commenting on the current mess within the style he brought to Botswana back in the day, Dobolo expressed no surprise at what is going on.
Reminiscing about what happened when he was toppled by his then students Ramontshonyana and Dube, Dobolo said it all started when the two wanted to dictate to him how to run the society.
He said the two always had queries on how he was running the association and would tell him how to things should be done and that is where all the fight began.
Despite what happened, Dobolo, who has since moved on, said he was saddened by what is happening, adding that there ought to be a better way of running the society.
“Regardless of our ordeal and past with these two, it is very wrong for Ramontshonyana to have done what he did. I personally do not have bad blood with them. As for Dube we have been in communication and he constantly asks for advice on the matter at hand,” he said.
Dobolo further noted that in his view, he sees Ramontshonyana as power hungry, something which he says will really cost him.
As for the intervention from BOKA, he said it is very wrong for them to be involved in issues of a style or society which is an issue for registrar of societies and not BOKA.
He expressed concern that BOKA’s intervention may be disengenious at it comes for the protection of Ramontshonyana by the President of BOKA, Tshepho Bathai.
Dobolo went on to say BOKA can only be involved in this matter is through the chairperson. Unfortunately, the chairperson has been suspended which still does not give BOKA the right to intervene on this matter.
In addition to this Dobolo said he resigned while in the committee as Bathai ran BOKA the way he wanted and did not follow the right procedure; his way of doing things shows he is way too far from leading.
“BOKA is facing a lot of internal fights and we have tried to come through and help them but Bathai does not want our help, karate has changed and it does not hold its former prestige; the sport is being tarnished and ruined on a daily basis,” pained Dobolo said.
In conclusion he said, whoever is the chief instructor to Ryushin- kan should know that they do not own it. As for the house of BOKA, they need to grow up and do things right. He furthermore wished that the likes of Gift Nkwe and David Mthe and all other former Karateas can just come back to correct the joke that is happening in karate.