By George Byron
NELSON Mandela Bay is “ready to rumble” and set to become Africa’s wrestling capital provided plans to film a new 13-part television series get off the ground.
Africa’s top wrestling promoter, Mark Beale, told Weekend Post he was determined the new show would be filmed here.
“In the past all my shows have been shot at the Urban Brew Studio in Johannesburg. This time I want the series to be filmed in the Bay.
“A venture like this could create at least 40 new jobs for local people,” said Beale, chief executive of World Wrestling Professionals (WWP). “I would like the Bay to become like Stamford in Connecticut, the home of American wrestling. It is a great boost to their economy and it could happen here.”
One visitor to attend one of Beale’s promotions at the Urban Brew Studio was President Jacob Zuma. “The president loves his wrestling and it was a great honour to meet him. He insisted on going into the dressing rooms and meeting the wrestlers.”
Beale has identified a warehouse in Newton Park which he says will be ideal for filming the new series.
“We want to get as many Bay celebrities involved as possible. EP Kings rugby chief executive Anele Pamba has already indicated he would like to be involved.”
The WWP is rated among the top five federations in the world. It is especially known for promoting local talent, and one of SA’s top wrestlers hails from the Bay.
All-Africa champion and SA’s only black professional wrestler, Zama “Kwaito Kid” Njokweni, was discovered by Beale in 2003 and will play a key role in the new series.
This is a shortened version of an article that first appeared in the print edition of Weekend Post on Saturday March 3 2012.