ESTHER Phiri is an inspiration to many young women that they can achieve greatness in a male-dominated sport through hard work, says Minister of Community Development Emerine Kabanshi.
Watching the screening of the film “Between Rings – The Esther Phiri Story”, at the residence of the Finland ambassador Timo Olkkenen on Monday night, Kabanshi said there has been more girls joining boxing owing to Esther’s success story.
She said Esther had proved that with determination, a woman can turn from nothing to a champion.
“It’s an inspiration to see a fellow woman become a champion from nothing. What we need to see is more women achieveing their dreams. I feel Esther has inspired many women take boxing as a sport that can change their lives,” she said.
She commended the Finish embassy for funding the film directed by a Zambian woman Jessie Chisi together with Salla Sorri.
“We are grateful for supporting this inspiring story. You gave the two Zambian women to tell the story in their own way,” she said.
Meanwhile, Olkkenen said the Finish embassy was happy that the story has helped other women to use their talents as a source of livelihood.
“There is so much that our women can do in what is described as a man’s sport. Today Esther has raised the sleeping dreams of our women. We are so keen in promoting gender equality,” he said.
And Esther said she was hopeful that her story will encourage women to fight on even when they are knocked down by various challenges.
She said women play a better role in society and needs everyone’s support to achieve their dreams.
“ I have gone through so much but I have never given up. Even when I feel like the whole world is falling on me, I still stand up and fight on,’’ she said.
The film has premiered at many film festivals around the globe which includes German, France and Finland.
Esther is scheduled fight Julie Tshabalala of South Africa for the Women International Boxing Association (WIBA) and the World Boxing Federation (WBF) welterweight unification title next month.