Raisin Kulenfuka during an interview with well-known actor and fellow Fight For Fame Ambassador Maurice Paige. Photo: supplied
Raisin Kulenfuka during an interview with well-known actor and fellow Fight For Fame Ambassador Maurice Paige. Photo: supplied

This Raisin is no sour grape, he's all swag, charisma and red carpet

By Julian Kiewitz Time of article published Jul 31, 2020

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CAPE TOWN – Raisin Kulenfuka is all swag, charisma and red carpet.

It’s always a pleasure to see him at the various combat sport events across Mzansi.

It’s not hard to miss him, just look for the man all draped out with fine suits, paisley shirts ... and don’t forget the shades, come rain or shine, Raisin is rocking them shades.

It’s people like him who add to the allure of the beautiful culture of combat sport. A much-needed dynamic in the fast-growing arena.

But Raisin is not just all glitz and glamour. The man has plied his trade and earned his stripes in various disciplines of the sacred martial arts, both as a student and a coach.

He has earned his Judo, kickboxing and jiu jitsu black belts, along with 10 years’ experience in the mixed martial arts arena.

He has travelled across Africa and the world mentoring, training and managing some of Africa’s finest students and gyms. Names such as One Championship and former EFC stars, Gunther Kalunda and Danie Van Heerden to name a few.

Raisin Kulenfuka training with EFC star, Luke Michael. Photo: supplied

He too owns his own management company, Raisin Management to add to his impressive CV.

Today, representing some of the finest MMA stars and gyms to come out of Africa, Raisin has walked a long road to be where he is.

“I left the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) back in 2007, at the time I was first accustomed to Taekwondo and Boxing,” says the CEO of Raisin Holdings.

“Once I came to South Africa, I competed in Judo before investing my time into Muay Thai as well.”

True to form, it would not be long before he upskilled himself in the art of eight limbs amateur scene, establishing himself as the number-two ranked fighter in the Western Cape before being taken under Steve Kalakoda’s wing in the boxing arena.

After travelling in between various gyms across the Cape in search of “home”, Raisin eventually found his heart at Panther Fighting Arts and Academy.

“I spent some truly great times at Panther, especially on the MMA side, it made me who I am today,” says Raisin.

In 2013, his much anticipated Extreme Fighting Championship debut was brought to a halt.

“I broke my knee and turned all the ligaments in it, I could not fight anymore.”

Raisin Kulenfuka rubbing shoulders with MMA legend Rich Franklin. Photo: supplied

Without lingering too much on what could have been, Raisin’s driven mind quickly turned a page.

“I decided to become a coach and Gina Betoko (my kickboxing coach) made me his assistant at Panther after Mike Bernado died.”

Raisin became a sponge, quickly absorbing all he needed to know to become the complete combat sport coach, picking up the skills on how to instruct MMA with top craftsmen such as his colleagues at Renzo Gracie (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) and Richie Quan’s Apex gym in Gauteng.

“I decided to open my own management company, but at the same time valued training athletes. I have hosted seminars in Angola and DRC among other places,” he says proudly.

Aside from his impressive combat resume and his appetite for the finer things in life, Raisin too is listed as an actor and stylist.

Something that he too feels will bode well for his new journey with the Fight to Fame brand.

The new show that is set to give fighters a chance to compete for Hollywood movie and production contracts is set to kick-off its reality show in Mzansi soon.

The show will see fighters compete in several assessments such as stunt work, acting and training, all with the purpose of being moulded to create the new generation of Bruce Lees and Ronda Rouseys considering the huge gap there is in the market in terms of combat sport athletes making it to the big screen.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for fighters across Africa to get this chance to get recognised. I personally see myself play a big role in the concept as it is what I live and do,” says Raisin who has been brought on board to train some of the production crew. You too can find him having a good chat with fellow ambassador, and renowned South Africa actor, Maurice Paige on the Fight to Fame Facebook page.

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Raisin may not be fit to fight for an EFC belt any longer, but his character and charisma certainly shines strong enough to appeal to an audience on an even bigger platform in the future, paisley shirt and all.

For more details, visit https://www.fight2fame.com

@juliankiewietz

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